Writing these reviews reminds me of my school days when I used to postpone my homework & studying all the time until I suddenly realised that it was way too late to ever catch up on the backlog. I admit, writing these poor scriblings isn’t always the first thing on my mind when I have some time off. The choice between continuing reading in Don Quichote or writing another clumsy review is often an easy one. But in the end, I do enjoy writing them because I like reading other reviews myself, especially when it results in some great new records in my collection…

 
 

APRIl-MAY-JUNE 2006

 

1990-1995 : L'Intégrale des Années Maliennes - AMADOU & MARIAM (Because Music - 5CD)

I always had a weak spot for the music of this blind couple from Mali who have become world music stars in recent times. This splendid little 5CD box set is a superb collection which assembles all the recordings made in Mali between 1990-1995. The cardboard packaging is gold : beautiful & very efficient! The CD’s offer a chronological overview of Amadou & Mariam’s Malinese recordings : the first four CD’s are acoustic, on the fifth CD they are backed up by cheesy keyboards that do have a charm of their own nonetheless. Most of these songs were later rerecorded for official albums for the Western market but the original recordings here shine in all their purity. Lovely music that never ceases to amaze! *luKe*

 

Bush League - BUSH LEAGUE (Yakisakana 10”)

My Dutch drinking buddy Jasper de Wilde tipped me on this mysterious Toronto band and it seemed quiet interesting so when this 10" came out on Yakisakana I sure didn't hesitate to pick it up. And well, it turns out to be pretty awesome indeed! The depraved wildness of The Fatals, the arty punk shtick of The Hunches, the gloominess of the Demon's Claws, Cheater Slicks, Horrors, Oblivians, well, you know…it's like peanut butter. There's no songtitles or any info about these guys on the sleeve, so I guess we'll have to talk about the songs by making ridiculous guitar and drum noises while we're playing air guitar and sing…really badly. *sAm*

 

“Can’t Feel a Thing” – THE BUSY SIGNALS (Shit Sandwich 7”)

I don’t know a lot about the Busy Signals. I guess they named themselves after a Reatards song, which is great for a start. Like a lot of the bands on Shit Sandwich they are from Chicago, the place to be with the Horizontal Action scene and the yearly Blackout festival. Busy Signals throw in two songs on this, their second single : “Can’t feel a thing” sounds really great, I like my punk served like this, tasty and catchy but then there’s the b-side “All the time” which gets way too poppy for the mood (and any coming moods) I’m in. People call this ‘power pop’ these days, but sue me for saying these kind of refrains kill the power in an otherwise ok song. So, one winner, one stinker on this Shit Sandwich release. Too bad. *StevenVDW*

 

 

Got A Crane in my head – CAMARO ROUGE (Demolition Derby - LP)

One of the main reasons for these Batarang reviews is spotlighting records that are doomed to obscurity. This great debut album for example by a Chicago three piece called the Camaro Rouge has only been released in a vinyl edition on the Belgian Demolition Derby label and I heard it sells very poorly. That’s a real shame since this two woman/one man band delivers a bunch of exciting songs on ‘Got A Grave In My Head’. The mix of real quality song writing and a constant punch, thanks to the exciting dual female vocals, makes this album a real winner. I hear fragments of The Little Killers, Mr. Airplane Man, The Husbands. I also hear a no nonsense rock ‘n roll band that knows how to rock in style. It’s the kind of record that makes you want to go to a live show immediately. I cannot imagine someone buying this record and being disappointed. What more can I say? Just buy it NOW!!! *luKe*

 

What do you think you think? - CRACK UND ULTRA ECZEMA CD (Tes Fesses - CD)

Fantastic new female-fonted band sprung from the super exciting and extremely fertile Strasbourg scene that seems to revolve around a mysterious French producer/con man and record peddler who goes by the name of Phil Scrotum. If that doesn’t ring any of your bells, maybe names like Crash Normal or The Normals will, or Cheb Samir, who’s in both the Normals (whom I hope you already know) and Crack Und Ultra Eczema, who sound somewhere inbetween Karate Party and The Numbers, or as the Softenon damaged offspring of Sick Things and Gang of Four. The esoteric, bizarro slant to their music is more pronounced than I expected on this CD, with some demented guitar noodling here and there that’s reminiscent of the artier Electric Eels stuff, and the occasional nod to old Sonic Youth and the likes. More than just cook up a cool, original sound, they also know how to write some great tunes, and this record has plenty of those. In case you were still wondering: this is a band to cherish, and this album’s a blast. It’s a CD only release, but you’re going to buy it anway because a) you believe anything you read on the Internet, and b) you don’t want to miss out on one of the hottest French rock’n’roll records released so far in 2006. Recommended! (Vinyl junks and collector nerds can satisfy their vile lusts by hunting down the Crack split ep with Le Sport on Bibimbap Records, and there’s a track on S-S Records’ “Tête de Bébé” compilation as well.) *tOm*

 

“Dog” - CHEVEU (S-S Records 7”)

These Frenchies come up with something fresh, something new. I don’t know where exactly they’re from (I would assume Paris, don’t ask me why). No time for investigations so I guess it’s their first 45, and for some reason it got me all exited. “Dog” starts with some 80’s synth sounds and there’s a cheap sounding drum machine, a combination that could have found me skipping the rest of their output but when -just in time- some intriguing early Fall/Creepers guitarjanglin’ is thrown in I am instantly hooked. B-side “Make my day” –probably sung by someone else- is the real winner of this single, making me curious about things to come : a new song appears on the “Tête de bébé” compilation on the same S-S label and Pollymagoo will issue their new “Clara Venus” single. *StevenVDW*

 

Missile Sunset – DC SNIPERS (Dead Beat - LP)

Relatively new Spits-alike "mongo" punk band out of New Jersey and one of the best bands to come out of that area lately. The Spits comparison is evident, goofy songs like "Soviet Union" ("Soviet, Soviet Union, 19, 1980" are the compete lyrics), "Note to Self", "Electric Chair from Saigon", etc. Keyboards, hooky guitars, singer that sounds like he just skipped one anti-alcoholics meeting too many. That said I must say it's very well done and I'm enjoying this record a lot and if you like bands like The Penetrators or The Spits or The Sneaky Pinks and all that stuff, then this record is the perfect companion for your next six pack. Cheers! *sAm*

 

Boulevard de l’Indépendance - TOUMANI DIABATE’S SYMMETRIC ORCHESTRA (World Circuit CD)

Takkabel! - MOHAMMED JIMMY MOHAMMED (Terp Records CD)


Two exciting contemporary African releases. Toumani Diabate is the great kora player from Mali with near super star status, Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed is a blind Ethiopian street singer who’s biggest accomplishment so far (before this CD and his short European tour with the Ex earlier this year) was having a song of his included on the second volume in the Ethiopiques series. Diabate assembled about two dozen musicians (including Pee Wee Elllis) with no smaller ambition than to produce a cornerstone in Malinese music, while maybe our Ethiopian friend only reluctantly agreed when some people from the Ex asked him to record an album for their label… In both cases, the results are great. Toumani’s album runs the whole gamut of popular Malinese music from griot praise singing to hard swinging African salsa, sounding fresh but rootsy, and never corny nor contrived. I usually don’t care much for contemporary African music, and I might never have bought this album if I hadn’t found it cheap in a second-hand store, but I really, really love it. A new African classic? Sure! Jimmy’s album is a much more basic affair: his sweet, plaintive vocals backed by the surprisingly rocking sound of the krar, some percussion, some sax by the great Getatchew Mekuria (see Ethiopiques 14), and the free jazz drumming of Han Bennink on most (not all) of the songs. Some people think pairing Jimmy with Bennink wasn’t such a good idea. Usually, I’m the last to applaud all those north-meets-south cross-overs and fusions and what-have-you-nots, but here things work well. Bennink’s playing sometimes reminds me of the fife’n’drum stomp of the amazing Calvin Jackson, who played drums on a lot of the early Fat Possum releases. Jimmy doesn’t write his own songs, but is specialized in the repertoire of Ethiopia’s most beloved singer, which is not Mahmoud Ahmed, but Tlahoun Gessesse (see Ethiopiques 17, which I recommend highly, same for the Getatchew Mekuria collection), and it’s one of Gessesse’s signature tunes that opens the CD. It’s also the most instantly likeable track on here, although I dig the entire album quite a lot. This is obviously not as accessible as the Symmetric Orchestra album, but if you have an ear for swinging, adventurous roots music, you should definitely give it a try. *tOm*

 

The Melody – DEKE DICKERSON (Goofin' Records - LP)

Goddamn! I promised myself not to buy another Deke Dickerson album since I already have so many and I thought I’d better check out some other artists’ music I haven’t heard yet but when I recently drove to work and listened to one of his older records I soon realised that it just doesn’t get any better than Deke so I decided to buy his new album immediately. And what a mighty fine scorcher it turns out to be!!! The song writing is exceptional with one highlight following the other. The band is in terrific form too : Deke is joined by Christopher Sprague (of Sprague Brothers fame) on drums and Jimmy Sutton on Acoustic and Electric Bass. Carl Sonny Leyland joins the band on piano in several songs and Dave “D.B.” Berzansky is another terrific guest on pedal steel guitar. This 300-copy only vinyl edition was released by Goofin’ Records from Helsinki and features an excellent instrumental bonus track called “Nokie’s Lullaby”. Willie Nelson’s “I Never Cared For You” gets a very melancholic treatment, a similar tragic mood like in “Drag Race Tragedy” from Deke’s former band The Untamed Youth. These 16 godlike songs will surely turn me into one of the happiest people on the “Route Du Soleil” to Spain next week!! Deke is still the best entertainer after all those years!!! *luKe*

 

“Justine’s a Junkie” - DIRTY NEEDLES (Certified PR Records 7“)

You can hear Brad Daugs (check out his “Get Drunk and play records” pod ‘cuz it’s great) and fellow Evolutions member Roy Oden had fun doing “Justine’s a junkie” and it’s a fun song for say two or three spins, but after that you’ll stick to Suzie, Judy and Sheena. B-side “Burned out” isn’t even funny. If it’s a winner in any way, it’s in the “all-drugs-you-can-name-in-one-song” contest (I spotted Heroin, Mescaline, PCP, LSD and I didn’t even pay a lot of attention). There’s a third uncredited song which is just ok. I really don’t think any of these songs are up to the Evolutions standard, so skip. *StevenVDW*

 

Burned Again – THE FORTUNATE SONS (High Society International/Amoebenklang - LP)

Whoah!!! Here’s another steamroller of a mean motherfuckin’ rock ‘n roll record! Sounds like The New Bomb Turks with Lemmy on lead vocals! 12 blazing songs that makes you wanna participate in a hi-octane road rally! Recorded in Detroit in 2003 by Jeff Meier (Rocket 455, Detroit Cobras) and finally available on some German label called High Society. According to their myspace address, these guys are Canadian. That’s all the information I got. Whatever, this is some real raw-assed punk rock ‘n roll shit that is best enjoyed when blasting out of your car speakers. Hit the road and enjoy the wild ride! *luKe*

 

Full of Sorrow – FRUSTRATION (Born Bad - MCD)

Another French band with 80’s synths galore (see Dog) but this band has been listening to Warsaw/Joy Division a little too much. At first I suspected some irony (the guitar riffs are so obvious JD rip-offs and the hysteric franglais no wave vocals on “Blind” made me laugh out loud), but now I tend to think these guys are really serious about it. I have to say their trick works great for the first two songs : pressed on one 45 “Blind” and “Your body” would make for a very great single. But after two songs the gimmick starts to bore and “For them no premises” sounds like a real bad “Walked in line” rip-off. To make things worse, they end with a terrible (uncredited) live song which I couldn’t even finish listening to. I’m no masochist. Unfortunately. *StevenVDW*

 

Party Down – GHETTO WAYS (Contaminated Records/Wicked Singles Records 7”)

In their strongest moments, Ghetto Ways have always been more ‘soul’ than ‘punk’ (that’s if I would have to pick one). I’ve actually never understood the Dead Boys comparisons I heard people make, when talking about Ghetto Ways. Even if Jenna Young sounds tougher than ever these days, she also sounds vulnerable at the very same moment. Four songs and boy does she lay her soul in some of them! The songs on this EP range from just good to really great (and I mean really great!). I gotta say the B-side rules over the A-side with “Loan Man” and “Tearin’ a Hole” being some of their strongest stuff yet. Comes nicely packaged in a brown paper bag. *StevenVDW*

 

Are no fun – HAIRCUTS (Sack o' Shit – 7”)

The debut 7" by this band the Haircuts appropriatly comes in a sleeve containing…real human hair!! This must be the most unhygienic record I've ever seen, or owned for that matter, jucky-boo! Nevertheless it looks kinda cool. So what about the music you may wonder? Well I think it's great actually. If someone told me this was made by some NYC artschool dropouts in some damp basement in 1979 I would probably believe it. Crude, distorted, raw minimal no-punk, with probably at least one member in the possesion of an Electric Eels album. "Haircuts are no fun" is an absolute hit and b-side "Never see her again" is inferior, but ok. Nasty, but recommended! *sAm*

 

“Panther Howl” – HAUNTED GEORGE (Hook or Crook - LP)

I’ve only just bought this album and I can’t stop listening. At night I mean. With a glass of red wine. It’s hard not to drop Hasil Adkins’ name right here, as his spirit clearly is around, so I won’t resist the urge. Haunted George is a hell of a storyteller and I want to hear every word of his songs that start with a line like “they call me depraved”. This is strong, haunting (if you excuse me) stuff. The kind of trip that may appeal to Cramps lovers, Hasil and Hank fans alike. Great album! *StevenVDW*

 

OK, Allright – THE HIPSHAKES (Slovenly 7”)

Ok! Allright! Out of some backward community called Bakewell in limeyland comes this bunch of wild teenagers called The Hipshakes and I find this first 7" so satisfying I'm already going to declare them the official heirs of the sadly disbanded Real Losers. Really cool Teengenerate style trashy garagepunk that also definably has something of late 70's British punk bands like Eater or The Art Attacks. And to think these kids didn't even knew what KBD stood for when they recorded this! Only question remains: when are some Belgian teens going to start making some glorious trash like this? Huh, what? Don't look at me man, I'm an old geezer. *sAm*

 

I’m Your Taxi – THE INTELLIGENCE (7”)

A recent live show at the Pit’s totally blew me away but this 7-inch is a bit of a letdown. The songs aren’t up to the high standard of their albums and the sound is totally over modulated. Bummer! *luKe*

 

Rock ‘n Roll Heart – LIMES (Nasty Product - 7”)
The Devil’s Canyon – HAUNTED GEORGE (Nasty Product - 7”)

Fuck! The French are really lame when it comes to packaging! I ordered this 7” and the Haunted George one directly from Nasty Product and found both 7-inches with bent covers in a fuckin’ envelope a few days later! Grrrrrrr……… call me a damn yuppie but I really hate bent covers!! Oh well, this is probably the most ugly sleeve of the year anyway. So this is the second 7” of The Limes after the SSLD one. This time, the band features Jack Oblivian, Nick D. Ray (Viva L’American Death Ray Music), Harlan T. Bobo and Shawn Cripps. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart” is thrashy blues stomp in the vein of ’68 Comeback, only inferior. “Into A Tree” is in the same league and both sides end with the same throw-away instrumental. Haunted George is Steve Pallow who used to play in The Beguiled and this one-man (?) band sounds ugly, mean & desperate. Music from hell. Both 7-inches leave me rather indifferent although I must admit that I’m sober at the moment. *luKe*

 

Bandana Trash Record – LIVEFASTDIE (Dead Beat Records - LP)

The first song of this trashy record “Passing Out (In Front of the Children)” sets the tone immediately : these guys love being politically incorrect! Lyrics of songs like “Amputated”, “Shit The Bed”, “Weapons” & “Snuff Movie” may be dumb as hell but the music is great and the band knows how to avoid repetition by delivering kick-ass songs. Moreover, they really do have an original sound, something like Gibby Haynes fronting The Dwarves on LSD. I like this record very much and if you got good taste, you will too! (no problem to replace ‘good’ by ‘bad’ though) *luKe*

 

“Guitar Star” - LIVEFASTDIE (Your Permanent Records 7”)

I have been listening and grooving to this band for weeks now, and I was wondering if their name reads Live Fast Die (as in Live Fast Die Young) or Live, Fast, Die. As a Christian-raised boy (don’t worry I threw off my shackles) raised in the seventies fasting for me wasn’t much more than no-candy-during-40-days, so not something that could make you die (ask Bobby Sands for the real fasting experience). You see I think a lot, and I was just thinking how this American band gives me this same joyous feeling I had when I bought my first punk records. It’s hard to nail LFD down. They obviously spent some time listening to obscure European punk records, not a trace of American hardcore here. Three songs : “Guitar star” is great, “Forged in Flames” and “Not a Dog” even more so. This 7” makes me look forward to anything Viking Thrust, Shadow Falcon and Camero Werewolf (I kid you not) will come up with. I hope they can make it to Europe before they split up as I wanna be there yelling’ with the boys : “Do Shit Where You Eat!!!” *StevenVDW*

 

Mind Controls – MIND CONTROLS (P-Trash LP)

Nice picture disc LP by Mark Sultan's (Spaceshits, Sexareenos, BBQ,…) new band the Mind Controls. This time he tangles the 70's punk genre and once again the man's talent for songwriting and his singing capabilities are instantly recognizable. He teams up with Ysael of the Demon's Claws here and another guy on drums. It's classic punk'n'roll, nothing new or revolutionary but very well done! A bit like a punked up version of The Spaceshits but better then those zillion boring Devil Dogs imitators out there. I can't really name any favorites here, this just rips from start to finish. If you like good old punk'n'roll you have to get this or "take your tourist dollars and go home". *sAm*

 

1952-1955 – LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER (Classics - CD)

Little Junior Parker is one of my all-time favourite R&B stars. Parker began his career in Memphis as a harp player for Sonny Boy Williamson and became a member of the original Howlin’ Wolf band in 1949. In 1952 he formed his own band the Blue Flames and recorded sides for the Modern label. When the Bihari brothers showed no more interest in him, Parker hooked up with Sam Phillips for whom he recorded “Mystery train” that Elvis covered during his legendary Sun sessions in 1954. In the same year, Parker moved to Houston and recorded for Texas producer Don Robey’s fabulous Duke label, the label with whom Parker is most closely associated today. Throughout the years, Little Junior Parker kept on recording for various labels such as Mercury, Minit, United Artists, and Capitol. He died of a brain tumor in 1971 before reaching the age of 40. This compilation spotlights the former years (1952-1955) and is announced as the first volume in the complete legacy of Little Junior Parker on Classics! So you know what to expect : Parker’s first recordings for Modern, Sun & Duke. A fantastic collection of 22 godlike R&B pounders from one of the real unsung heroes of rock ‘n roll! *luKe*

 

Demos – PERIPHERIQUE EST (Self-released LP)

YES!! After years and years of crap and suffering and horrible emo/streetpunk/whatever bands Belgium finally has a punkrock band that is really great again! Périherique Est are 4 guys from the Brussels area and one guy from Paris. Originally started in 2003 as a duo being David, who wrote the music and recorded all the instruments and Jacky Lambert (ex-Vice Barons, a Brussels surfband) who is also a notorious figure in Belgian cinema. They rounded up some musicians et voila, PE is ready to take bloody Belgium by storm!! Musically it's really energetic, wild and authentic yet up-to-date sounding 70's style KBD punk. Like The Briefs but all in French and better and minus the fashion bullshit. Doing real justice to bands like The Kids, Hubble Bubble, Raxola,…or like The Dogs or Metal Urbain without the drummachines. I mean it, these guys could share a stage with any band on Shattered or Douchemaster or Shit Sandwich or whatnot label and be just as good and better!! So all you Belgian kids better check them out when they play your town/shed/youthclub/braderie… and bring your notebooks, you need it… *sAm*

 

Shallow + Throbbing Organ – PISSED JEANS (Parts unknown CD + 7”)

Out of seemingly nowhere comes this totally over the top bunch of noisy weirdos called Pissed Jeans and guess what; I love it! Sounds like a speeded up version of Flipper or The Brainbombs or something, full of frustration, eager for those "boring girls" and ready to mess up your garbage on Easter monday. The little brothers of the Amp Rep catalogue and the forgotten, somewhat backward nephews of Tractor Sex Fatality, Aluminiumknoteye, Sagger, etc.. To sum things up, they sound exactly like a band with a song named "Ashamed of my cum" should sound like. The cd contains 8 songs and is top notch and if you like that, get the 7" as well! *sAm*

 

Live at Goner – REIGNING SOUND (Goner Records – LP)

Live show of Greg Cartwright's great post-Oblivians band the Reigning Sound. Recorded live in the Goner record store 26 June 2005. A great set, more "Time Bomb Highschool" than "Too Much Guitar" era stuff, some rockers, some ballads, some cool covers like "Tennessee" by Carl Perkins' and Greg gets electrocuted halfway side b. The quality of the recording is great too. Call me a simple soul, but a couple of trappist beers and this on my turntable is all I need to make my Sunday afternoon just perfect. *sAm*

 

Chills & Fever – TENNESSEE TEARJERKERS (Brown Sound Records 7”)

Christ! Some US label called Brown Sound Records released this 7” but then made it almost impossible to obtain a copy ‘cuz nobody got a reply when asking the label how to obtain the damn thing! Stick to your day job dude and go collecting stamps! Anyway, I got my greedy paws on a copy and I’m glad I did ‘cuz the music is top-notch : a slow blues stomp grinder called “I want you” on the flipside while the A-side has the title track “Chills & Fever” which is a cover of a Ronnie Love song : moody garage music with a very fine organ. Good luck finding a copy though! (no Schadenfreude here though). Me, I’m off to Google land now ‘cuz I really want to find out more about that Ronnie Love… *luKe*

 

Tunnel of Love – TUNNEL OF LOVE (Profet Records 7”)

A new 7" by these bare-chested, striped panties wearing freaks from Massachusetts. The fact that Piero of The Fatals released this should already make you aware that we're in for another trip to trashland. Stoogesy guitarwail, Cheater Slicks desperation but with a more artpunk approach like The Clone Defects, and man it is gooooooodddd! Damn, now I really need that album. *sAm*

 

In the Meantime - Viva L’American Death Ray Music (Transsolar Records - LP)

My pals were a bit disappointed by the first Belgian show of Viva L’American Death Ray Music a couple of weeks ago but I still think they put on a terrific show at the mighty Pit’s with Jeffrey Bouck being one of the best drummers I have seen in recent years (tattoo free shaved chests rule!!!). At times, this threesome sounded like The Velvet Underground with Mark E. Smith on vocals, The Feelies if they would’ve been raised in Memphis or on a more contemporary note : a mix between ’68 Comeback and The Gris Gris. “In The Meantime” is the band’s third long-player and it’s a goodie! After “Pleasure Principle #19”, an intro song with a catchy drumcomputer-like steady beat, the record really gets off with “Needle to the Heart of the Matter”. Woaw, if this song would’ve been issued on a 7”, it would be in my top 10 of 2006! Like I said : a perfect blend of The Feelies & The Fall. This is where Viva L’American Death Ray Music should convince the non-believers! And it doesn’t go downhill from here : “Certain” is another winner that crawls into your head and stays there for a couple of hours. It has a very simple, even monotonous song structure but this adds up to the hallucinating feeling of the song. I bought this record after the show and was glad that most of the best tracks the band played are on this record, like “Thieves Oh Glorious Thieves” and “Same Suit Different Tie”. While not being as strong as both reviewed songs above, the band never lets down. OK, “Oh What Day” & “Dub s s” are fillers but don’t spoil the fun neither. Shit, I think I’m a fan. *luKe*

 

Cantan en Espagnol - WAU Y LOS ARRRGHS (Voodoo Rhythm LP)

Polish up those dancing shoes and keep your statch of Tequila at hand 'cause with this first full length album Valencia's Wau Y Los Arrrghs are going to shake your ass into a frenzy! Very wild and danceable hipshaking '60s garage/surf stuff, all in Spanish, all covers, all fun. Songs like "El rey del tablistas" and their great version of Los Saicos' "Demolicion" should win over any dancefloor crowd at your next elitist garage party in a jiffy. TATATATA…YAYAYA!!!! *sAm*

 

TYRADES/LE JONATHAN REILLY split 7" (Holy Cobra Society)

Weird nice plastic package. As I hadn’t heard of Le Jonathan Reilly (silly name btw) I bought this split for the Tyrades songs in the first place. But let’s start with Le Jonathan Reilly from Valencia, Spain. I expected them to be a Spanish punk band. Not. First notes of “Save Yourself of Your Neighbourhood” bring back memories of The Meat Puppets “Up on the Sun”-era and The Wipers. Like these bands LJR has a nice warm sound and I do like the two songs included here. Tyrades are a totally different story. No warm underbelly here, only cold-blooded tension and murder. I’m a fan so I love it. The guitar playing, the way Jenna bites her words. They do a great original and a Black Lips cover (“Juvenile”). Tyrades still rule, ain’t that good news! *luKe*

 

BIG APPLE RAPPIN’ – THE EARLY DAYS OF HIP-HOP CULTURE IN NEW YORK CITY 1979-1982 (Soul Jazz - 2CD)

If you like Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, and the mighty Kurtis Blow, than this is for you. Don’t expect to find them on this compilation though. The names on here are far more obscure, but their stuff is equally inventive and fresh, and instantly loveable. The sound of ghetto funk breaking into the electronic eighties. Like me, you probably can’t stand any of the rap and hiphop that’s been unleashed upon the western world in these last two decades, but I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this lovingly put together compilation (by the way, all the early concert flyers pictured in the booklet come from the collection of Ugly Things’ Johan Kugelberg). All together now: “How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise? Agitate! Educate! Organize!” Yeah! Buy now! Pay later! *tOm*

 

ETHIOPIQUES 21 : Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (Buda Musique - CD)

The latest release in the never-ending Ethiopiques series (mind you, I’m not complaining), contains 75 minutes of classical solo piano music by Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, daughter of one modern Ethiopia’s very first intellectuals and a figure herself of Ethiopian high society. There’s a very intriguing story behind the music but therefore you have to read the wonderful liner notes by Francis Falceto. Fact is, the music on this CD was previously released on three LPs recorded in Germany, two in 1963 and one in 1970. In 1996, Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou released one more CD of which four new compositions complete this fascinating CD of very melancholic solo piano music, Ethiopian style. I am just a layman in the field of classical music, would rather think upon first hearing that this is some kind of Argentinean piano tango music, but it is Ethiopian and very moody stuff too. I don’t know if you are going to like this but I think this is very bewitching music that I will cherish for a very long time. *luKe*

 

V/A “KILLED BY TRASH” (P-trash LP)

P-Trash wanted to do a Killed By Death tribute. Problem seems to be no one knows exactly what KBD means. Hardly surprising, we get a confusing mix of covers originally by bands as diverse as Beastie Boys, Wipers, Kids, Hüsker Dü & The Hollywood Squares. But hell, we’re not encyclopaedists and punk=confusion so let’s stick to the music. Killed by Trash starts incredibly strong with Jeffrey Novak’s take on the Mad’s “I Hate Music”. Some people state he sounds like a whole band but to me this sounds exactly like a one-man-band, a very great one. “Hillside strangler” by the Hollywood Squares gets a great rendition by Trash Stranglers, featuring Vince Fatal and Brad Daugs band (of Last Sons of Krypton, Evolutions and Dirty Needles) while Demon's Claws cover The Child Molesters' "(I'm the) Hillside strangler" which is in fact a totally different song. Atlanta’s finest The Carbonas do a super “Don’t Hide your Hade” and great Aussie-punkers Digger and the Pussycats stay remarkably close to the Wipers’ original in their version of “Better off Dead”. Other highlights are “Züri brennt” by EA, another great Tyrades track and Black Time’s version of “Son of Sam”, much closer to the Chain Gang original than Jon Spencer’s manic saxed up version. Not everything is as great and as can be expected from any punk comp there’s a few suckers, like the particularly lame Kids cover by a French band called Flying Over (enabling the P-Trash Führer to make his “give us back the Alsace” statement - Germans are funny people as we all know) and “Pogo in Togo” by Operation S but overall a great collection that should fit well in between your KBD and Bloodstains comps. *StevenVDW*

 

MAS ROCK AND ROLL : 26 RARE 60’S TEEN-PUNK ARTY FACTS (Electro Harmonix CD)

Subtitled ‘The Best of Electro Harmonix Record Label’, this budget CD delivers 26 slices of raw teenage punk from Spanish-speaking countries. Most of these tracks have been re-released on cool 10-inches by Electro Harmonix during the last couple of years so this is some kind of sampler from this fine Spanish label. Some of these bands are really exceptional : Lux Interior once called Los Saicos “the most garage Punk band Ever” and Russel Quan from the Mummies says he’d kill for a record like Los Shains’ “El Ritmo De Los Shain’s”. Among the 26 tunes are garage delights from Peru (Los Saicos, Los Shain’s, Los Holys), Mexico (Los Sonambulos, Los Sinners, Los Checkmates, Los Yaki), Uruguay (Los Shakers), Chile (Los Macs, Los Vidrios Quebrados), Columbia (Los Electronicos) and Spain (Los Grimm). This budget CD is also available as a double 10-inch but the vinyl edition is a lot more expensive. There is no release info but instead you get a solid discography of the Electro Harmonix label. Muy bien!!! *luKe*

 

REMBETIKA (JSP 4CD Box Set)

Something I just couldn’t resist purchasing : a 4CD box set anthology of Greek blues simply called ‘Rembetika’. The 89 tracks recorded between 1925 and 1947 were compiled and annotated by rembetika expert Charles Howard who tried to avoid duplication with other compilations he made for Rounder Records. Great! Each one of the 4 volumes has a main subject : VOLUME 1 focuses on artists born in Turkey during Ottoman rule, VOLUME 2 are recordings made in the port city of Piraeus to which many people were forced to flee under the Exchange of Populations agreement after the Greek-Turkish war in 1923, VOLUME 3 focuses on the underworld connection (this volume is subtitled “Dope, Dice, Guitars, Knives ‘n’ Such 1928-1946), while VOLUME 4 is called ‘After Censorship 1937-1947’ although it should have been called ‘During and After Censorship’ since the dictatorship of General Metaxis lasted from 1935 to 1941. The selection of the songs is outstanding : this is vintage rembetika in all its splendour. My only complaint is that there are no recording dates and little information about the recordings. I would have preferred if this box was issued by Proper Records who issue similar box sets but include nice fat booklets. Still, this remains a fabulous collection at a very affordable price! Thanks also Ken and Ann Smith of Red Lick Records who have loved this music for so many years now and made this release possible. *luKe*

 

THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF (Yazoo 2CD)

This might as well have been the next Old Hat compilation : another mind-boggling collection of super rarities & unissued gems of the 1920s & ‘30s. The package alone is worth the price of admission as this double CD comes in a DVD-sized box and includes a fantastic booklet with drawings by Robert Crumb, a very funny text about record collectors of all sorts (“All record collectors never play 90% of their records”) and a little story about the very eccentric Collyer Brothers, probably the world’s biggest collectors ever. Their entire 4 story house was filled to the ceilings with all kinds of junk and the booklet features some incredible pictures of their junk collection. So this 2CD really focuses on the obsession of collecting and assembles some real early blues and old country music gems, including 2 never heard before selections by Son House. I suppose by now you know what to expect : after all, Yazoo has made these kind of compilations in the past. But this one is truly exceptional : a beautiful package sold at a very reasonable price. Essential! *luKe*

 

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