Archive for July 20, 2005

Reviews: Dj/Rupture, Drop The Lime, Sightings

finally a few more reviews

DJ/Rupture
Special Gunpowder
Tigerbeat6

Drop The Lime
This Means Forever
Tigerbeat6

If DJ’n was this good all the time, we wouldn’t need instruments. Robots would be hired to play tunes or more likely Chinese workers would be hired to provide new hooks and their Western counterparts would simply be content with remixing. But few artists can make mixing this engaging. Rupture is one smart cat and all the logic jump cuts and intuitive pulls of the cloak and dagger can apparently be expressed by good tune selection, mixing and matching, and a little post-production on the laptop. Flop we Featuring Junior Cat takes brit-electro-bass and Jamaican accapellos shit’s chill with out becoming backpacker like Common or Quest. Musquito chops afro-pop (I think it’s a Mapfumo track) with salsa vocals. I hate to comment on race, but Rupture does seem to be internationally black, mixing Africa and the Caribbean well outside the norms of DJ culture. The mix is better than the origins. Score one for design. While Rupture’s Special Gunpowder can’t quite be summed up in a single word former New York based gabba-freak Drop The Lime’s long-awaited debut can be summarized simply by saying punk. Part of the breakcore group, a genre more well known for stagnate break-athons, Drop’s cuts and drops combined with a vocal sense that reminds of !!! makes music that doesn’t seem as much idm as liquid funk similar to DFA shit. I’m rushing with these last reviews so forgive me for skimping over two deep releases with clichés, but Drop ain’t quite making drum and bass, something in the cut-up reminds of indie projects and deep-house. The laptop is really becoming a back-up resort here for a frayed and splintered world where dime store electronics, A Certain Ratio, and dos based sequencers all converge as equal instruments. Drum and bass has needed a serious refreshment and Drop puts the axe in song writing building up floor space with vocals and actual anticipation instead of speeding up the bpm dial. Tigerbeat picked a couple winners here. If it seemed like anything outside of Berlin experimental-4/4s was dead before, well New York has produced two good things for your bin.
– Andrew Jones
Buy Drop The Lime

Buy DJ/Rupture

Sightings
Arrived in Gold
Load

The Sightings swiftly fall out of emotion’s radar on Arrived in Gold. Vocal’s are submerged the noise isn’t terribly loud. The disco influenced internal compass uses an eighties drum break similar to !!!’s work, but fucks it so hard the things comes up rock hard and thumping around while static licks build in clicks of a minimal groove, one of ten festers piano outbreaks around a caravan of stuff, sugar sediment slacks a jazz piano refrain in front of a noisy assemblage that’s traces of musicality only draw this project into relief. Annihilation is noise’s manifesto, anyone can grab a box or a guitar and make noise, but to annihilate noise is to eat one-self and in this case the feedback of The Sighting’s ideas churn and turn never ending. Arrived in Gold is anti-music reformulating that old bash, smash, & rage with a prozac induced calm that eerily recalls the compassionate indifference of the Bush administration. The standish off I don’t care image has always been an intrinsic part of the “punk? stereotype, but The Sightings’ exploration of it seems wholly one-side and almost tyrannical after all our mythic punks are supposed to obey some form of honor. Granted these guys are still making noise, but it’s not building into To Live and Shave like power electronics metal blow-outs, instead it’s like a stealthy ethanol drenched glove over melody’s refined nostrils. Funk, jazz, rock, metal are all silently assassinated by detachment. Arrived In Gold’s frankly laid out corpses are far from mutilated, they simply just exist as dead forms. They only pick up emotional speed in reflection when you begin to notice what they aren’t or what they were, i.e. it’s up to the listener to autopsy these songs and discover their lives. Such restraint is rare, and to turn industrial ambience into a philosophy of notes that steadfastly refuse to lick your emotions isn’t just clever it’s down right un-American.
– Andrew Jones

Buy Arrived in Gold

July 20, 2005 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment

Reviews: Mobius Band & Beautiful Skin

Sometimes I actually make good on my word.
2 reviews for Skyscraper:

Mobius Band
The Loving Sound of Static
Ghostly

When emo got big and my mail box and the local store’s shelves all became stocked with college level ennui, you just had to begin to wonder where all this shit was coming from. I mean this many bands sounding so similar seemed un-natural. For awhile I just assumed it was seclusion. One little band in each town each actualizing their music at the same time, labels popping up like fungus in running shoes. But after several years of it, it became apparent something more sinister was happening here. How could so many bands simply ignore the fact that they all sounded alike? Finally Jimmy Temberllo shed some light on the situation when he rather blunted said he sees a lot more bands in it for the money now. While we still scoff at the concept of even emo for the money (despite some success for Postal Service, Mars Volta, etc) there is a living in it, and there is popularity. When I hear The Mobius Band this is what I hear, another band trying to make it in the emo circuit like so many jam bands following the Carlison Denison trio around or something. While their production is perfect and “Radio Coup? contains a little glimmer of Radiohead in it, their only real movement towards identity comes with “Philadelphia? a breaks stomper that juxtaposes carelessly primitive electronics with the delicate primordial world of guitar and voice. The melancholy is precious; you kinda wanna hug the band and just sit there. But this whole use of electronic music as a process, as Ghostly #1 Sam Valenti recently put it, is hardly new. What has Barbara Morgenstern or many of Gudrun Gut’s Monika’s label been doing for years? Didn’t Tortoise already prove that software can jam and then made some decent music with it? A recent package from Brazil revealed Sao Paolo’s S.O.L who make trippy pyschedelica with plenty of cd skipping and laptop bounce in the mix. The Mobius Band seem like a bad graft: old ideas, old music, old electronics. I just can’t connect with this. While obviously the next Brian Wilson or something like that will use the laptop in some un-expected way making pop music flow through filters like analog pedals and 16-channel desks it’s not going to come till we learn to use the laptop as an instrument in the process of music and disregard this whole mess called electronica as a whole.

– Andrew Jones

Buy Mobius Band… yeah even though I don’t like ‘m

Beautiful Skin
Everything, All This, and More
Gold Standard Labs

Ahhh… damn you Nick Forte and your addictive “pop? music. Here the Brooklyn laptop-ist/ guitarist and Ross Totino a synth player who cut his teeth in rural brazil twiddle out all the forgotten refuse of glam’s short lived experimental side. This time around some Wyatt, some Frith, and the ever present feeling of Eno and maybe a little of The Winkies play into the formula. Is it kinda annoying? Yeah, it’s a little aggravating at times. Beautiful Skin takes notes from those that rubbed rock the wrong way, and it’s all good. At times you can almost hear the commercial inspirations of England’s 70s rock scene beginning to billow through and then some prog-glammy moog piece comes in slowing down the vocals and reminding you of that all to short lived piece where primitivism was new and no one really carried if you were playing live or through a deathly body of effects and distortion. While so much of 90s music was stripped down or elaborately psychedelic, BS can create loops of primitivism so engaging their repetition is a boon. Ross Totino is heaving synth lines so heavy they chug up into dancey numbers encumbered to bass. Addictive and refreshing with out resorting to the usual “obscure? references. Few bands have explored retro this well, and made us aware of how much the past still has to offer.
– Andrew Jones

Buy Beautiful Skin

July 20, 2005 at 4:42 am Leave a comment

Letters for Climate Change

yes, it just isn’t possible to get facts anymore. Congressman Joe Barton of the U.S. energy council has recently sent out a series of letters with questions to key scientests in the fields of climate change. While much of the reaction in the scientific community has been a bit polarized, for instance Sherwood Boehlert writes:


My primary concern about your investigation is that its purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them, and to substitute Congressional political review for scientific peer review. This would be pernicious.


When you actually read Joe Barton’s letters. He hardly seems as immitidating as Boelhert seems to think, but as many scientests point out Barton seems highly mis-informed:


Three scientists (two of which are contributors to this site, Michael Mann and Ray Bradley) have received letters from Representative Joe Barton (Texas), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee specifically requesting information about their work on the ‘hockey stick’ papers (Mann et al (1998) and Mann et al (1999)) as well as an enormous amount of irrelevant material not connected to these studies.

If Barton is asking for a lot of erroneous material it’s probably not becuase he’s trying to immitidate scientests, but obviously have been fed a line and is investigating the matter. His tone seems more like a cautious skeptic of his own views than an attack on the forefront of science.

All of this is further complicated by Barton’s views being based on a paper by
McIntyre and McKitrick, one is a mining industry executive and another is an economist. Their work used data from existing climate change studies, and was published as a scientific study in a journal on policy. When McIntyre and McKitrick’s work was subject to peer review it was descridted. For a more thorough explination check out Mann’s letter to Barton clipped from below:

Q7: This question poses a number of questions based on an article published by McIntyre and McKitrick in Energy & Environment. The question states that these
authors “report a number of errors and omissions in Mann et al. 1998 and how these may affect the underlying conclusions of the work.? The question goes on to list a number of topics that I should address in a “narrative explanation.?

A: I want to begin by emphasizing that nothing in McIntyre and McKitrick’s article undermines the conclusion of my research. My colleagues and I stand foursquare behind our work. So does the scientific community.

The various claims of McIntyre and McKitrick — including the ones repeated in your question — have been exhaustively examined by two different groups of climate researchers who have found their objections to be unfounded.5 See also National Center for Atmospheric Research, Media Advisory: The Hockey Stick Controversy New Analysis Reproduces Graph of Late 20th Century Temperature Rise (May 11, 2005) (available at: http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2005/ammann.shtml). Moreover, it is my understanding that several other groups of climate researchers have examined McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticisms and also have found their criticisms lacking in merit. On the other hand, I know of no independent scientific group that has found any of McIntyre and McKitrick’s claims to be valid. Nor is that surprising. Energy & Environment is not a peer reviewed scientific journal; it is a journal primarily devoted to policy rather than science that appears to engage in, at most, haphazard review of its articles.
And neither McIntyre nor McKitrick is a trained climate scientist. According to the biographical data on their websites, Mr. McIntyre is a mining industry executive with no formal training in any discipline related to climate research and Mr. McKitrick is an economist with no scientific training, hardly credentials that lend force to their academic arguments. See

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/cv.html and
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/stevebio.doc.

Adding to the problem, the editor of Energy & Environment, Ms. Sonja Boehmer-
Christiansen, has candidly acknowledged that the publication has a clear editorial bias. In the September 5, 2003 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ms. Boehmer-Christiansen is quoted as describing the editorial policy of Energy & Environment in this way: “I’m following my political agenda – a bit, anyway.
pdf here

Anyway, you get the gist. National Energy Council folks, much less the fucking president of the council, are addressing climate change from a fake angle. Their literary approaching peer-reviewed and replicated tests that prove that co2 emissions and other stuff detrimental to the atmopshere as skeptics instead of the other way around. And you can see this one coming… oh yes you can… oh yeah it’s coming… yes it is…

if you want to write a Letter to Barton or other members of the U.S. Energy Council… you can click here
oh yeah… electronic democracy. We really need some type of application that just automatically fills these things out for us. So much to protest… so little time.

To make things even better the U.S. Comitte on energy’s website’s comment form doesn’t work. I tried sending a letter directly to Joe Barton, but apparently you have to be from Texas to contact him.

July 20, 2005 at 12:24 am 2 comments


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