Stuff picked up Recently

November 7, 2005 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

thoughts on stuff picked up recently:

Towa Tei – Flash
Mr. Tei has always put out good record and Flash can be a little bit to light sometimes but the for most part is a solid lap-pop record. The track with Atom Heart is one of the better either artist has done in awhile. At times he summons up a little to much of his past on this one, what’s best about Towa Tei is hearing him move father away from deep-house and soul and hearing something good come out of. The cover of The Knack’s My Sharona (with Tycoon Tosh no less)seems a little random, but maybe it fits into his set as a whole.

Marcos Valle “Nova Bossa Nova” & The Essential Marcos Valle 2
Two comps of Mr. Valle’s bossa nova and space-pop from the fifties.
bachelor pad music? kinda, but Valle always seems classy in some impossible way.
Neither of these are knocking me on the ass like the original ones I heard, but
it’s good regardless.

The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
Meg and Jack White might be fake siblings, but their reconstruction of blues’ & rock’s origins are too. If anything their desire to reproduce the kinks of the original records and extend these effects to the point they become obvious facades are certianly pretentious, but they also have an imagination that few could match especially using the grit and limited means of early r&b. Who would have guessed difficult listening would emerge out of the earenest of the past? Track 6 seems to be the track they put in so the radios would play something nice, but the album itself makes you wade through some excellent and strange reconstructions of zepplin and honkey tonk, 45s meet 78s, 70s growls in serial form.

Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Music Orchestra – Home Coming Day Concert
I once heard a Korean trad band that could wail like charlie parker on
their instruments. This isn’t that band, but it’s pretty good. Part of a series
of discs intended for tourists that provide traditional korean music. At times
you can hear echoes of Chinese music in these orchestrations, but surprisingly
this is pretty good. Hoping to pick up a few more.

Lee Ssang – Library of Soul
Korean hip-hop is starting to distinguish itself with production via MC Sniper
pilfering his parents collection of classical music for breaks and collaborting with dancehall accapellos and here Lee Ssang seems to use every hoe in Seoul to make these koreans playing soul and funk joints with korean mcs infested tracks burst with life. The closest collaborator to Seoul’s hip-hop is probably folks like Common and Kayne West, tracks are bursting with chorus and soul to make the whole thing rebound off hope. All that said, most of Lee Ssang’s best seller is crap. But there’s a few joints worth keeping. The other night I heard a perfectly amazing korean hip-hop group. When that music will make it off indies and onto majors so ignorant folks like me can digest it more easily I don’t know, but it’ll be a pub crawl like no other to get there.

Isolee – We Are Monster
How to read a follow up that’s point seems to be more sedate than the original? Isolee made history with Beaumont Plague, but on We Are Monster he’s more obsessed with keeping a consistent tone for each song. Tracks glide by abysammly numb and fettering, they ripen glow and stutter in obsolence. It at times like this I wish I knew some history of the musical form to resort too. Is this a normal chilled follow up to a blow out? Well, kinda. At least my record collection seems to recall a good amount of overtly melodic slow-house like Carl Craig’s Pysche as a backing point for Isolee’s latest, but We Are Monster seems to defy indentity. This is one dude who isn’t anyone. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and if anything We Are Monster’s occasionally thread barren lymerics invite the novice to take a stab, but as always it’s more complex than what might appear. Isolee is a master of unraveling musical assumptions and hence even when guitars being to thumb towards a prog-rock origins, the whole effect is a little more mutated than expected. Isolee can draft tracks with a sincerity and bluntness that makes the whole thing appear so easy, We Are Monster is numb to genres. I’ve been reading about media art recently a Japanese form in which neatly designed little trinkets and games come up in galleries but lack the usual connections with art’s heavy handed histories. If anything Isolee seems to be shedding a similar past. Is We Are Monster as dense as tech’s mainstays? No, but it’s throw away nature makes it all the more memorable in a catalog of essentials.

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