WE WILL PUBLISH BI-MONTHLY AGAIN IN 2007! ENJOY!!!

JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006

A Night at Club Baobab – ORCHESTRA BAOBAB (Oriki Music CD)
Classic Titles – ORCHESTRA BAOBAB (Cantos CD)

My heart always skips a beat when I read about a new Orchestra Baobab reissue. No other band’s music affects me more deeply than these Senegalese legends from the 1970s so imagine my excitement when I heard about these 2 anthologies on some small French indie labels. Orchestra Baobab was in fact the house band of the infamous Baobab club in Dakar, a club frequently visited by the high society, the politicians and the businessmen at the end of the 1960s. It was the club owner himself who assembled the band in 1970 from the best group around, the Star Band residents of the Miami Club. Soon, the new outfit turns out to be a musical dream team. Barthelemy Attisso’s subtle and scintillating playing ranks him among the world’s best guitar players ever, Issa Cissako is a real master on the tenor sax and Baobab’s first records feature 3 brilliant singers - Balla Sidibe, Medoune Diallo and Abdoulaye Laye M’Boup. In 1974, Mboup dies in a car accident and a young singer called Thione Seck takes his place. With his nightingale-like voice, Seck wins every heart. The band continues to rise to unprecedented musical heights. The Wolof phrasing and Mandingue rhythms are flavoured by mambo, chachacha & Cuban son, while the singers sing in Spanish, French and a variety of Creole dialects. Baobab’s broad and truly unique musical pallet makes every release a true gem. Although both of these releases have 5 tracks in common, they are truly essential because both feature marvellous & timeless music which richness in sound and melody is unsurpassed. ‘Classic Titles’ is part of a world music anthology which focuses on several African legendary stars: Les Ambassadeurs, Bembeya Jazz, Boubacar Traore, Ismael Lo, Ami Koita, Koffi Olomide, The Rail Band and Tabu Ley Rochereau. It is sold at midprice and contains over 70 minutes of heavenly music. ‘A Night At Club Baobab’ is not a live album but contains music recorded between 1972 and 1978. Again, the CD contains over 70 minutes of music and 8 of the 13 songs have also been released on limited vinyl. There’s no need for a ‘parental advisory explicit content’ sticker here, but one that says ‘beware: very addictive music” would be very appropriate. Legendary, unrivalled and totally essential! *luKe*

Jack at Night/New Rose - BASSHOLES (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

I try to buy everything Don Howland’s involved in, so I hopped by the SSLD outlet in our local shopping mall to purchase the new Bassholes seven inch record. I was going to write some smart-ass review about how this record sounded like shit, but to the pair of ears I’m wearing today, it sounds better than ever. Weird. You get two pretty great mid-fi basement punkers (the flip’s by the Damned) with Buddy Akita of This Moment In Black History on distorto lead guitar and some organ swirling its way through the mess. At least 500 were made with two different sleeves and I got the ‘Double personality’ edition, which I think is the rarer and definitely the uglier of the two – the guy who did the cruddy cover drawing should have all of his fingers broken... slowly... one by one... Hey, I’m just kidding! Also get the brilliant, criminally overlooked Bassholes CD on Dead Canary from 2005 if you’re still living your life without, and Don’s solo album on Birdman from a couple of years earlier - the brandnew This Moment In Black History full-length is highly recommended as well. *tOm*

To Give Not A Gift - BATTLESHIP (Double Negative Records 7”)

Follow-up release to the great ‘Presents Princess’ album from 2004 and a very nice one too! A recent live gig showed us that Battleship had left the fucked up Gang Of Four sound for a more hardcore approach and I’m glad they still sound vicious as hell on both songs here. “No Time For Love” sounds like The Ex drenched in vitriol, while “Two Horses Too Many” is another full frontal attack that’ll leave you KO on the floor. Has the new album been released on vinyl yet? I hope it’ll be another aural delight like this goodie here! *luKe*

You’re the Only Girl (Hiss Lab cassingle) + Fucked up heart (Shattered Records 7”) – BLACK AND WHITES

Two releases by this brand-new Mississippi band. All songs written by Talbot Adams of Dutch Masters. A single and a ‘cassingle’. The cassingle features two great sing-along power pop songs about girls: “You’re the Only Girl” and “Multiple Girls”. Great catchy stuff with “Sheena-is-a-Punk rocker” style backing vocals. Probably sold out when you read this (check www.hisslab.com for distros or wait for e-bay auctions). “Multiple Girls” doubles on the b-side of the Shattered single, which has the best B&W song so far, called “Fucked up Heart”. Boy I love this song!! It’s on Shattered Records and it rules. What did you expect? Buy! *StevenVDW*

Fever – BLACK TIME (Trakmarx 7”)
Dance Party – BLACK TIME (Bancroft Records 7”)
Message From Control Tower – BLACK TIME (Rehab Records 7”)

There are only a few contemporary bands whose releases I try to collect and Black Time is one of them. Every new record proves that Black Time is a master at drenching great & catchy songs in a cesspool of lofi-trash. “Fever” is another great noiseful attack and features 3 great songs (4 in fact, considering the two totally different versions of “Fever”). It all sounds noisy, macabre & fatalistic, yet it’s very energetic and full of excitement. Beware: edition of 250 copies only! ‘Dance Party’ features the catchy “Girls In The Garage” that should set any garage punk party on fire! Other songs are “Feel So Bad”, initially written for The Real Losers (R.I.P.) and “Link Wray” some kind of tribute to the master himself. ‘Message From Control Tower’ is big value again with 4 songs and no filler. “Public Information Film” and “Sirens” sound like clinical disco, music for negative creeps who keep on searching for kicks. In the liner notes, Black Time mentions the term ‘rotten joy’. Rotten indeed but glorious all the way! *luKe*

Mechanical Man/Drivin’ me to Habit - CPC GANGBANGS (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

Maybe the very best single to come out in 2006. CPC Gangbangs throw in two manic robotic and hypnotic punk rock songs: “Mechanical Man” is a super punk rock song (sounding like a manic Tokyo Electron song) and “Drivin’ me to Habit” is just as errr… addictive. Definitely the winner of the newest SSLD batch. Next spring will bring us an lp on Swami by these Québecois. Looking forward to that one! *StevenVDW*

Live in Spring Branch, TX – DEMON’S CLAWS (Hook or Crook LP)

I may be biased but when I read on the cover that A. “Live in Spring Branch, TW” was recorded by Matt Hoopengardner and James Arthur from the Golden Boys B. it features Walter Daniels’ harp on one song and C. “incidental noise” was done in The Haunted Devil’s Hollow Cave well… than I know I’m in for a treat! I suppose this 7 song mini album was recorded live in the studio since I don’t hear any audience and the sound is very clear. It opens in style with “Sweet Sweet Love Tonight”, a Ray Condo (!) stomper that sounds like a manic outtake from an early Cramps session. “Gonna Get Together” is another fucked up & trashy pounder while “Shadow Of A Castle” is classic Demon’s Claws: sloppy & greasy but compelling and inspired at the same time. The B side offers us 4 more trashy tunes in the same vein. “Pop Machine” for example sounds exactly like a wild rockabilly anthem shoved through a grinder. Can’t wait for the new album on In The Red and the European tour! Demon’s Claws rule! *luKe*

Go Too Far - EVOLUTIONS (No Fuckin’ Chance LP)

Evolutions consist of three crazy fat Indian junkies living in a reservation in Wisconsin, so the story goes. It’s tempting to believe all this. The record: At first I thought there were too many (24!!) average-sounding songs on this compilation. I was wrong. Where to start? The great organ-driven “Watch me Bleed” and “Looking at a Dead Man” by Roy Oden or the even better songs written by Jamie King, like “One More Time”, “Bitter Pill” and the funny “I’m No Good”. Anyone that can write a song like “Amphetamine” is a hero in my book. No Fuckin’ Chance did a great job on this compilation. Buy and play loud. *StevenVDW*

Bindu – HAMID DRAKE & BINDU (Rogue Art CD)

Hamid Drake has been hitting the drums on numerous releases, yet “Bindu” is his first proper release. His collaboration and friendship with William Parker has lead to many invaluable and timeless albums and on ‘Bindu’ he is in great company again: Daniel Carter, Ernest Dawkins, Sabir Mateen, Greg Ward and Nicole Mitchel are born musicians, every one of them. The album starts very strong with a 13:46 minutes song that features Drake on frame drum and Nicole Mitchell on flute. Mitchell goes loose while Drake follows her skilfully and gives the flute solo extra punch. Mesmerizing! From the first notes of the second song you realise that “Bindu” is going to be a very adventurous musical expedition. Drake’s free jazz drumming very soon gets joined by tenor & alto saxophones and the music meanders back and forth across unknown territory. I could go on describing the other 6 songs but I suggest you to buy the album and let the music speak for itself. Fire music as the ultimate expression of freedom and liberation! Hats off to Hamid Drake & Bindu! (The album can be easily bought directly from the French label at a very reasonable price at www.roguart.com) *luKe*

Hidden World – FUCKED UP (Deranged Records - full colour gatefold double LP)

Fucked Up formed in Toronto, Ontario in 2001 and over the next five years, the band released a steady stream of deliberately provocative singles, EP's and cassettes on which they created a truly unique sound: based in hardcore but with a heavily experimental bent. Hidden World is the band’s much-anticipated full-length debut album and it’s a very satisfying release. The album features 13 well-crafted songs in seventy-two minutes and it never ceases to amaze. Lead singer Pink Eyes’ standard-issue hardcore bark of a voice intertwines brilliantly with the constant twin-guitar attack and the songs are composed in a unique way. Somehow ‘Hidden World’ reminds me of early Neurosis but in the first place, this is a truly unique album by a truly unique band you cannot afford to miss. Nothing short of amazing! *luKe*

Winks & Blue Eye shadow - GHETTO WAYS (Savage Records/Wicked Records split 7”)

Two cool new blue-eyed soulpunkers from this NY band. Ghetto Ways can write a good song and “Winks & Blue Eye shadow” is their greatest song yet. Period. It’s tight like The Dirtbombs, it’s raw like The Runaways, and anyway you know what to expect from these Brooklyn cats. B-side is sung by drummer Harry and isn’t bad but it’s “Winks” that I’ll keep returning to. Funny sleeve starring Harry (not in his underpants fortunately). *StevenVDW*

Whiskey Before Sleep – THE GOLDEN BOYS (Nasty Products 7”)

With Scorpion Stomp #2, The Golden Boys made one of the most satisfying debut albums in recent years. ‘Whiskey Before Sleep’ is Matt Hoopengardner and James Arthur’s second single after the SSLD debut release and was also recorded at the Hit Factory, Spring Branch, TX (see Demon’s Claws). The typical sloppy garage sound is omnipresent and both songs here show us again what a great songwriter Matt Hoopengardner is. This sounds like Neil Young on LSD. Let’s hope The Golden Boys will cross the Atlantic soon! *luKe*

Cemetery Trails – THE GOODNIGHT LOVING (Dusty Medical CD)

I ordered this CD directly from Dusty Medical after reading some very positive things about it on the Goner board but although I tried real hard, The Goodnight Loving fail to make a big impression on me. In fact, each time I listen to “Cemetery Trails”, one band constantly springs into my mind: Vic Godard & Subway Sect. I suppose The Goodnight Loving are big Vic Godard fans and I would be very surprised if they actually never heard of this London singer-songwriter with punk attitude before recording “Cemetery Trails”. The UK indiesound is omnipresent and The Goodnight Loving may even become NME darlings in the near future. The follow-up album is ready for release but I think I will wait for the live concerts because at the moment, I really don’t know what to do with an album like “Cemetery Trails”. *luKe*

Third Person Shooter - HANK IV: (Hook or Crook LP)

As far as I know this is the debut release by these San Francisco bay area punk/weird rockers who ironically dubbed themselves Hank IV (has nothing to do with Hank Williams' offspring). It contains members of the Icky Boyfriends and a Leather Upper, which is pretty well reflected in the music. Pretty dark, groovin' late 70's Dangerhouse vibe here. You can hear some Crime, some Chain Gang… so no 1-2-3-4 tralala, this is moody stuff, probably the kind of record you want to put on after driving home from work, eating your dinner and saying "Yes, dear" for about 8 times. That said, it's still pretty "rocking" and tight, and with enough contemporary noise to keep it interesting. With songs like "Oyster", "Car in Zebra" and "Hole in my Eye" these Hank IV weirdos are maybe my favorite current Frisco band. This LP comes with a CD that contains exactly the same songs, which is handy for in the car I guess. *sAm*

Stick Around – THE HIPSHAKES (A Fistful of Records 7”)

For many people, The Hipshakes debut 7” on Slovenly was the most exciting single of 2006. I can agree with such a statement. In the meantime, this English trio issued 2 more 7-inches; one on Goner Records and this one here on A Fistful of Records. While both songs on the Slovenly debut were ultra short, the 4 tracks here are a bit longer and more under control. No need to panic however: it’s still very basic rock ‘n roll trash, very Oblivians-like but less noisy than Jeffrey Novak. These guys were selling their new full-length album at a recent show but I haven’t heard that one yet. Oh, nice cardboard sleeve too! *luKe*

Entering The Dragon – KEITH HUDSON (Trojan Fan Club CD)

Trojan Records has launched a new subsidiary label aimed specifically at collectors and specialised in limited edition releases of 1000 copies. Trojan Fan Club Release No.3 is a reissue of Keith Hudson’s obscure ‘Entering The Dragon’ album which was only issued in limited numbers and deleted soon after its original issue in 1974. The Trojan CD release adds another 17 (!) rare sides lifted from obscure collectors 45s, clocks in at 79:51 minutes and - unlike the expensive Rhino Handmade releases - is sold at a regular price. Keith Hudson has long been regarded as one of the key innovators of Jamaican music of the 70's, belonging to that rarified group of producer/artists that includes Lee Perry, Niney the Observer, Yabby You and Augustus Pablo. In 1988, Trojan Records released ‘Studio Kinda Cloudy’ by Keith Hudson And Friends, a fabulous collection that was revised and expanded on the 2004 2CD ‘The Hudson Affair’. ‘Entering The Dragon’ starts in the same great style with cool tracks by B. Ragga and The Soul Syndicate. Track 3 however features Hudson as singer and it doesn’t work out very well: “Will You Come Out Tonight (aka Don’t Stay Away)” sounds like an attempt at lovers’ rock. I never really liked soft-soul reggae but here, Hudson’s unstable singing sounds like he didn’t sleep for twenty-four hours and drank way too many Red Stripes. Fortunately, on other songs like the great “Like You Going To A Fair”, Hudson’s voice is much more effective and the steady roots reggae rhythm suits him perfectly. The original 13 songs album also includes some fine instrumentals like the Soul Syndicate’ rudimentary “War War” and a couple of nice dub songs. Highlights among the 17 bonus tracks are Dino Perkins’ “Skin Him Alive”, Alton Ellis’ “All That We Need Is Love” and Hudson’s own “Misery” although the latter is cut short after a mere 1:35 minutes. Again, among the extra tracks are also a couple of real stinkers like the dreadful (no pun intended) “(All I Need Is Your) True Loving”. All in all, this CD compilation is a mixed bag as among the 30 tracks there are too many songs that are mediocre at best. *luKe*

Eye-Cons - IMAGINARY ICONS (Daggerman Records 7”)

Yet another American post punk band. All American post punk bands sound like The Fall, Warsaw or Wire. This band may sound like Wire and the sleeve may be plagiarising the PiL artwork but these two songs by Benzoil Peroxide, TomDash, Sir Vaylance and Nate Red are dead cool. "Eye-Cons" is good but "Fade" is great. Expect more from Imaginary Icons (great band name btw) in the near future! *StevenVDW*

Get Flunky – KANIA TIEFFER (l’Armée des Bonbons 7")

Every once in a while a cool record comes from bloody Belgium: like the early Kids and Neon Judgement or the Hubble Bubble record (so I’ve heard). The year 2006 saw the release of the Périphérique Est demos compilation and this Kania Tieffer single. « Our music is made of noise and melodies » says the flyer and that sums it up pretty well. I saw her supporting French band Cheveu last week and thought it was ok but this “Get Flunky” single is far superior. It’s totally disturbing and original without being arty farty, and I don’t have a clue what she’s talking about but it rules. Kania Tieffer also appears on the Tête de Bébé compilation on S-S Records. More info here. *StevenVDW*

Chandrasekhar Limit - KAZALOK (Shake Your Ass MLP)

I discovered this band on my trip to Memphis this year to visit the city and the infamous Gonerfest. I was in Memphis a couple of days before the start of the festivities and the day after my arrival I learned that Viva l'American Death Ray Music were playing in some place called The Buccaneer that evening. Arriving at the venue, which turned out to be a very nice little bar, I found out this other, local band was also playing. The band was Kazalok and I feared the worst actually. Upon asking some locals about it I got the "they're some guys from around here" response so I was still pretty mystified when Kazalok started their set. A set that turned out to be great! A bunch of very young guys, of which I recognized one as Billy, the drummer for the Knaughty Knights on their Eurotour. Very haunting and inspired music, garage, a bit folkish stuff a bit in the vein of The Deadly Snakes maybe. Very well performed and leaving me wanting more… a release maybe? And so about a month after my return to bloody Belgium my wishes are granted with the release of this 6-song mini LP. Six great songs actually containing a variation of style from more indiepop/folk/psych pieces like "Caspian Sea" to the straight up punker "CIA" and überhit "Summertime Work Song". With bands like Kazalok, The Boston Chinks and The Barbaras we might be looking at a whole "next generation" of great Memphis bands. *sAm*

Time After Time – THE MAGNETIX (Sentenza Records 7”)

This here is a reissue of an out of print < 300 copies edition > 7” on the French Nasty Products label and that’s some good news because “Time After Time’ definitely deserves a place in my favourite 7-inches of the decade! That’s saying something, right? Well, I am not exaggerating because “Time After Time” is simply the best song The Cramps never wrote. It’s loud & crude and gets stuck in your mind for a very long time. The badass tremolo guitar sound is totally amazing while the song itself is a real tour-de-force if you know what I mean. Of course, the B-side doesn’t live up to the A side but what could? *luKe*

Blues Laureate: The RCA Years – PERCY MAYFIELD (Raven CD)

Woaw! What an exciting release we got here! Percy Mayfield has always been one of my favourite unsung heroes of rhythm & blues and this wonderful anthology of the best songs of his three RCA albums from 1970-1971 totally lives up to the man’s high standards. The main difference between these RCA tracks and his famous Specialty recordings from the 50’s are the beautiful arrangements. RCA gathered the cream of New York City’s session musicians and at times, the backing band is downright genius! Add some great liner notes, including a brief but very interesting career overview, and you get an exemplary release that comes very highly recommended for all you R&B hepcats out there. *luKe*

Span of Attention/To the River - DAN MELCHIOR (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

This is what the inlay says : “I dan melchior, I once made record with billie childis and holly go literly, I also made record for in thee red of calif usa, so I am garage/garage/garage/garage thru and thru, there’s no escape, hey that is title of garage rock song!!!!!!!!” Well it isn’t garage, you’re getting it? This takes time to get into, more time than I’m willing to spend right now (me too short span of attention). Englishman Melchior seems like a great (and bored) storyteller. Haven’t made my mind up on this one, though… talk to you later. *StevenVDW*

Miss 45 – MISS 45 (No Talent Records MCD)

About 95% of the stuff we review here are records we bought with our own hard-earned cash and that’s a good thing because we never feel the urge to check out some mediocre releases that don’t look/sound very interesting upon first sight/hearing. This Miss 45 mini CD for example is the kind of record I would never buy. It is generic & clean-sounding Gearhead-like punk rock where “cool attitude” seems more important than the music itself. To spice things up, there are some silly-sounding “Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooh-Ooooh” background choruses and a guitar ballad at the end. Somehow, I would like to give these Swedish guys some credit because with a label called No Talent Records, they definitely chose the right one! Where’s the trash bin, honey? *luKe*

The Viking of Sixth Ave. – MOONDOG (Honest Jons 2LP)

One of the strangest and most a-typical American musicians of the past century was probably Moondog. Born as Louis Thomas Hardin in Kansas in 1916, Moondog had a strong musical sense since childhood. Becoming blind at the age of 17, he persisted in his musical career and moved to New York in 1944 to compose his music. Because of his beard and long hair he made his money for a while as a painter's model being "Jesus". He got tired of the Christian connection after a while so he started dressing as a Viking instead, roaming around the city and playing his music in the streets. This double LP by Honest Jons Records is an entire career spanning collection of Moondog's work and comes as a very pleasant opportunity to dig into the man's music, which is usually hard to find. Musically the broadest term I can put on this is "jazz" or "free jazz" (I'm no expert), but terms like "soundtrack music", "classical" or "freaky beatnik stuff" also come to mind. Moondog used bongos, strings, snares, piano, flutes, animal noises, more percussion and other stuff. Most of the songs are instrumental, but there's some singing and chanting as well. He also sometimes used Native-American tempos and rhythms because he was very inspired by the various rain dances he witnessed as a child. All this combines to make very haunting, weird and unfamiliar feeling yet totally original sounding jazz music! This could equally be the soundtrack to an old ghost movie as to a poem by Alan Ginsberg. Moondog somehow winded up in Germany, where he was adopted by a German family. This allowed him to compose and live somewhat of a normal life (they even got him so far that he replaced his horned helmet with a woolen cap). The "Viking" finally died of a heart attack in Munster in 1999, age 83, after decades of musical creativity. *sAm*

The Best of MSONDO NGOMA (Ujaman Records CD)

Although Msondo Ngoma Music Band (OTTU) is the oldest band in East and Central Africa, this compilation album is the first CD release outside of Africa. I myself had never heard of this Tanzanian dance band but when I saw this one topping the Stern’s African Records charts for a couple of weeks, I realised I had to check it out. So here it is, blasting through the headphones: some of the most infectious & irresistible African rumba I heard in a long time! What strikes me the most is the fact that Msondo Ngoma’s sound is very similar to Kinshasa soukous, which after all isn’t very strange as many Congolese artists have toured East Africa and used Nairobi’s recording studios which left its mark on Tanzanian music. This best of compilation features 9 down-to-earth floor-fillers that’ll get people in a trance on any dance floor! I always compare these hot African Rumba bands with diesel trains: the songs kick off in a rather modest way but once they’re on a roll they’re unstoppable. So for those of you who like Super Mazembe, Remmy Ongala, Kakai Kilonzo and Mlimani Park Orchestra, here’s another essential collection. Allez bouger! *luKe*

Rock Bottom/I’ll be Gone/Wrong Side of Town - MURDER BY GUITAR (Alien Snatch 7”)

Message to all European bands: if your English sucks (and it most probably does), don’t try to write-a-song-in-English and please don’t try to sound like an American band. My analysis: all these continental ‘garagepowerpopwhateverbands’ are trying waaaay too hard. Murder by Guitar is no exception to that rule. “Rock Bottom” and “Wrong Side of Town” just don’t work. I know you will all hate me now but I can live with that. I have to admit “I’ll Be Gone” has everything to be a great pop song, but again: don’t try so hard. P.S. I’m listening to “Summer barn” by fellow Swedes Trogsta Träsk (1981) right now and I don’t understand a word but I love it! *StevenVDW*

The Persuaders “Forced to Fuck – The Anthology” (Shattered Records CD)

The Persuaders barely need introduction. They’re already up there in every garage punk kid’s loser’s hall of fame. Me, I saw them supporting The Reatards in 1999, but somehow didn’t pay enough attention afterwards. This compilation proves that anything about The Persuaders was great: the way King Louie bit his words in the mic, screamed his lungs out, the dual guitar playing with Jason Panzer. This is the King Louie I prefer, playing his most bitter and hate-fuelled music. If you own everything by The Persuaders (and a lot of you probably do) you should consider buying it for the 6 or 7 unreleased extra tracks. If not this cd-r is a must-have and it’s dirt cheap anyway. Don’t miss on one of the very few punk bands that really mattered. *StevenVDW*

Abacabok – TARTIT (Crammed Discs CD)

In 1998, I went to see Mahmoud Ahmed & his Ethiopian Groove Orchestra at the Amsterdam Roots Festival. Before the show, I wandered around the venue and suddenly came across the Ensemble Touareg Tartit playing an awesome set upstairs. The women sat down, sang and played cyclic rhythms on their tinde drums, while the men were singing and playing electric & acoustic guitars. Their hypnotic, trance-inducing music made me almost miss the Mahmoud Ahmed show! Tartit consists of five women and four men and was formed in a refugee camp during the Tuareg uprising in the early ‘90s to preserve the endangered Touareg culture. “Abacabok” is the second CD by this desert blues ensemble (the first one “Ichichila” was released by Network in 2000) and was recorded in the desert around Gargando (Timbuktu region) and at the Centre Culturel Français in Bamako. This is spontaneous, genuine roots music that shines bright and the ultimate alternative for those who cannot afford a trip to the African desert! *luKe*

Get Your Mind Off Me/Not Your Fashion - TURPENTINE BROTHERS (Alien Snatch 7”)

Turpentine Bros are hard to nail down, but if you love The Oblivians w/Mr Quintron album, this might be your cup: two originals with great organ playing. “Not Your Fashion” is an instant winner. Turpentine Brothers share members with The Kings of Nuthin’ and Mr Airplane Man but do not sound similar to those bands. A split 7” with Cococoma should come out in a few weeks. *StevenVDW*

Running in a Rat Race/London’s Bridge is Burning Down/She’s a Punk rocker and She Goes out with Dicks/Little Drummer Boy - JOHNNY VOMIT & THE DRY HEAVES (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

Like the “Big Black Boots and a Gogo Butt” single released by Goner last year, this is great funny American kbd stuff. Johnny Vomit & The Dry Heaves featuring a young Jack Yarber go really d-u-m-b and me love it. If you don’t love “She’s a Punk rocker and she goes out with Dicks” (song title of the year btw), you’re probably too smart. Buy this SSLD#8! *StevenVDW*

BalladWare – THE DAVID S. WARE QUARTET (Thirsty Ear CD)

Here’s the latest offering by David S. Ware, the contemporary king of free jazz and one of the true heirs to John Coltrane. BalladWare is a "lost session" studio set recorded in 1999 with William Parker (bass), Matthew Shipp (piano) and Guillermo E. Brown (drums) and it’s another peak in David S. Ware’s ever expanding discography. With this session, the quartet wanted to capture the energy of its extended late 1999 European tour which also marked the first time drummer Guillermo E. Brown was in the band. On ‘BalladWare’, you won’t find ordinary jazz ballads, but jagged, soulful sounds that create a sense of melancholy and fire the imagination. Another David S. Ware offering that will be cherished for a very long time! *luKe*

Wheels On Fire – WHEELS ON FIRE (Rosa Records CD)

Whooah!!! Talking’ of a real surprise here! Rosa Records, a new small indie label from Holland, brings us the amazing debut album by a band from Athens, Ohio called Wheels On Fire. You might have come across their name on the recent River City Tanlines album where they are credited as songwriters of “Cryin' Bleedin' Dyin'”. The album rocks off with “Train on Fire”, one kick-ass rock song that immediately displays the virtues of the band: raw & passionate vocals, a spellbinding organ and one massive rock ‘n roll sound. The 10 songs that follow will make your feet start tapping while you keep on turning up the volume. The record was recorded and mixed by roots rocker Teddy Morgan, itself a versatile artist of the Americana scene. And boy he did a great job because the record sounds just perfect! Wheels On Fire will be touring Europe in May/June 2007 and I can hardly wait to witness this band on stage. Fans of Reigning Sound, Deadly Snakes, Blue Mountain, 16 Horsepower take note: ‘Wheels On Fire’ is the most exciting debut album of 2006! *luKe*

HANK III/ANTISEEN (TKO Records Split Picture Disc 7”)

Let’s start with the bad news: another Antiseen song. I never liked them. I tried to look at them as scary and I tried to look at them as funny but neither worked. FTK (fuck the kids) is dumb in a very bad way. The good news: I had heard rumours of how great Hank Williams’ grandson really is, and can finally say it’s true. “Ruby Get Back to the Hills’ starts as a countrybilly song, changes into raging hardcore punk and ends exactly like it started. Hank III loves GG Allin, Black Flag and Hasil Adkins and fans of this music that haven’t checked out Hank yet should definitely do so. I can only regret it took me so long. *StevenVDW*

BIET HET VOL. 2 (Distortions CD)

It must be me, I go all the way to Memphis to the Goner shop and what do I come home with? A compilation that is subtitled "Dutch and Belgian R&B, Beat, Psych & Novelty Artifacts of The Sixties' Youth and Provo Scene". Way to go Sam, so much for the Mississippi delta blues & soul… But that aside, this hefty 26 tracks collection of teen beat has proven to be a worthwhile purchase indeed! As the title suggests you get all Dutch-sung 60's stuff, from real Back to the Grave-style raw scorchers over mostly very poppy beat stuff to some really psyched out craziness, and then some pretty awful "comedy" kind of songs. Let's say the best stuff on here includes things like The Softs (truly fabulous, but both songs "Kassie Kijken" and "Paarse Broek" are already featured on "Transworld Punk Rave Up Vol. 1"), The Symptomes, HET, The Cavaliers, The Sharks and my personal favorite: Fabien Collin. At one time dubbed "the Flemish Bob Dylan", the drug addicted Collin hung out with Antwerp hippy legends Armand and Ferre Grignard and his two songs on here called "Ophoepelen" and "Mariwana Maruwana" are true psych/folk greatness. I don't know how this will go down with non-Dutch speaking people, but the lyrics of this beat stuff are often very funny (‘rebellion through absurdity’ seems to have been the thing) but can also be very cheesy or downright horrible. Prime examples of this are for instance André van Duin's "Moet ik Lopen" or "Trip Trap door de Tulpjes" by Tinus Plotseling. The problem is that it’s just a bit much on one disc. They should have left out 10 ridiculous songs and this would have been a killer 16 song compilation! Nevertheless a great first introduction for anyone interested in digging into this nederbeat stuff. *sAm*

BIPPP: FRENCH SYNTH-WAVE 1979/85 (Born Bad LP)

Born Bad Records is not only the best record shop in Paris when it comes to underground punk/garage/rock'n'roll/etc.., it's also a label that releases some very interesting records and one of the latest examples of this is a very fine, dare I say at points very amazing compilation of French synth wave of the late 70's/early 80's. It’s a genre that's mostly more associated with countries like Germany but the Frenchies seem to have done a good job as well. What you get here is pretty rare and overall very good stuff, from dark, gloomy bits to great herky jerkers dance tracks. Some personal favorites here are "Contagion" by A Trios Dans Les WC (most awful band name ever?), "Je t'ecris d'un pays" by Les Visiteurs Du Soir, "Pretty day" by Mary Moor. If you like synthesizers or new wave or electronic music even the slightest bit, you have to get this! *sAm*

ILS SONT FOUS CES GAULOIS VOL. 4 (Disques Ronnie LP)

I know it's already the 4th volume, but it wasn't until this release that I found out about this series. What you get here is all sixties, all in French, from a lot of different French-speaking countries or areas. This goes way beyond the boundaries of "garage" and definably focuses on the weird and obscure. The whole thing starts off with three tracks from Belgium, being "La Légende de Tarzan" by Les Diamants Noirs (a faster rocker including jungle-cries and other wackiness), "Si Je Buvais Moins" by Douglas and "C'est du Velours" by Jacques Albin & The Klan, both raunchy beat songs. Other nice surprises here are for instance Le Pere Tremblay & Les Nouveaux Alleluias, a Canadian preacher trying to converge the youth to the path of the Lord through rock'n'roll, resulting in the pretty zany "Psaume 150". My favorite summertime song this year was brought to me by Maurice Alcindor from Guadeloupe with a boogaloo hip shaker called "Sékirité” (about social security). And how about Le Ry-Co Jazz from Congo, who with their song "Docteur" do some really great afro-billy(?) stuff. If you are interested in French 60's music this is an absolute must have! It's really too bad the first 3 volumes are so hopelessly out of stock! *sAm*

Our Latin Thing: Fania Sampler (Fania CD)

The Fania label was one of the most influential and beloved Latin record labels from 1970s New York and this here is a sampler accompanying the recent reissue campaign. The subtitle of “Our Latin Thing” speaks volumes: “Where the power of Latin soul meets the fire of New York’s salsa roots”. So we get to hear the cream of the crop of Latin salsa like Joe Cuba, Monguito Santamaria, Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan, Tito Puente, Willie Colon, Fania All Stars, Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco. Only 44 minutes of music is a rather poor result for a CD sampler but as a mid-price appetizer, it works wonderfully well. Me gusta muchisimo! *luKe*

Roots of Rumba Rock: Congo Classics 1953-55 (Crammed Discs CD)

This splendid digipack double CD set is a reissue of both ‘Roots of Rumba Rock’ volumes issued at the beginning of the 1990’s by the Belgian Crammed label. It features classic Congolese tracks originally released as 78 rpm’s on the Loningisa label between 1953 and 1954. In 2005, I was moved by a wonderful exhibition about Belgium’s colonial past at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren near Brussels and I was especially pleased to find out that my forefathers played a crucial role in the development of modern Congolese music by tolerating the indigenous music while the French and English regulated all aspects of cultural life in their colonies (the exploitation and massacre of probably 10 million Congolese under the rule of king Leopold II is less flattering though). The rumba rhythm had originally been taken to Cuba by Congolese slaves but musicians in Central and West Africa first heard rumba on records traded by visiting seamen from Cuba in the 1930s. The Congolese added influences as broad as French crooners, Belgian brass bands and Spanish guitars and the Congolese Rumba was born. Both CD’s here are filled with no-frills high fun three minute tracks that feature likembes and traditional percussion in most of the line-ups, but also accordions, violins, saxophones, balafons and guitars. A great collection! *luKe*

TROPICALIA: A BRAZILIAN REVOLUTION IN SOUND (Soul Jazz 2LP)

Ok, this came out a while back but this record is so great it would be a shame if it wasn't mentioned here. For those of you who aren't familiar with the genre, Tropicalia was a musical/cultural/literary movement in Brazil in the 60's (well pretty much 1967 and 1968). Musically it was a mix between traditional genres like bossa nova and samba and exterior influences ranging from The Beatles to American psychedelic music. Latin beats meet distorted guitars and the result is some magnificent pop music! This double album is mainly focused around musicians/writers/spokesmen Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and the band Os Mutantes, while chanteuse Gal Costa, Tom Zé and Jorge Ben were highly involved in it. Music of all these artists is featured on this compilation. Songs like "Bat Macumba", "A Minha Menina", "Tropicalia", "Panis et Circenses" are just a few examples of great songs on here, no duds, only the real Tropicalia, the stuff you wanna hear! Being a very political movement, which was most popular in the Bahia province, Tropicalia protested against the military junta that ruled Brazil at the time and for more freedom of speech and equality. In the end the army enforced a law forbidding almost all freedom of personal expression and Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso were banned from Brazil. The Tropicalia movement was dead… I don't want to use a lot of big words, but this is an ESSENTIAL compilation of one of the shortest, but most interesting periods in South American music. *sAm*

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