High summer and the office is bare... Succinct week in music then...
INNER SPACE QUARTET - Pool Phase (Dime Records)
by Ancient Champion
No one gets six hearts here unless they are sensational and go by the name, Inner Space Quartet. If I was starting a band I'd want it to sound like this double A, Pool Phase/Hashisch Scene. There's nothing quite like this in the library, and of course it is mind-blowingly-boggling from start to finish. I can only hope you are listening already. I think you might be able to grab the clear vinyl 5" 45, which is highly desirable from their band camp page. What is it? What does it sound like? Not so far away from some of the grooves the Beastie Boys put together on their Groove Holmes era LP, The In Sound From The Way Out. So what's not to love? And Pool Phase is commendably short, an inverse of the Woody Allen - Annie Hall joke, remember, in the restaurant line, the food is terrible and the portions so small. That's not happening here. This music is food and this portion is BIG.
OKAY KAYA - Spinal Tap (Jagjaguwar)
by Tim London
I feel a little guilty that I’m not watching the video, which is digital, sort of plasticene figures wobbling about being inconsequential. The tune’s OK. But mainly I want to focus on the press release that quotes a science.org article, ending: ’…drawing cerebrospinal fluid into and out of the brain.’ Which indicates that this is not the ultimate ironic comment on the famous spoof film but is actually about a spinal tap. Sell this as an idea and make crypto.
NEU - Zum Herz (Grönland Records)
by Toon Traveller
What to say when confronted by Neu memories from 50 years ago? Oh dear what's happened to them, this could be the California fm summer rock of the 90's. I'd love to think they, (or their remixers) are being ironic, but sad to say, I don't hear European wit or irony, just a pale imitation of American middle aged, middle browed, middle ideas, middling muddling, forgettable songs from the 90's.
LUCI - Trippin,Trippin,Trippin (Don't Sleep)
by Tim London
Seems like this is being young - this song, swinging effortlessly from almost hysterical emoting, Martinete flamenco style, to an almost beatific chorus in a sugar rush of emotional compensation. You need lots of energy to be young. I couldn’t do it now I’m old.
KIM MYHR - Up To The Sun Shall Go Your Heartache (Hubro)
by Toon Traveller
Kim Myhr has spent a mythological amount of months on his forthcoming 74 minute opus, Sympathetic Magic, released on August 19th by Hubro. An early peek at the LP is here through the window that is Up To The Sun Shall Go Your Heartache which gets off to a great slow mysterious intro with a shimmering organ, oh, Kim went down a vintage an organ rabbit hole, easy to do… Random keyboard flicks, bird songs in the morning mist, supplant the organ and then some discordant dominant percussion, random 80s electro-sound stabs, it staggers beautifully overwhelmed by weight and weightlessness. There’s some delightful feedback and then sixty seconds down, the track kicks in with a pleasant jangling, not quite Rickenbacker guitar, and the underpinning slide reminds of a popped up, intellectually downed 70s Norwegian, Terje Rydal, or perhaps Pat Metheny either way a lot of this has been done before, and there's all too little here for me.
ELLEN ARKBRO AND JOHAN GRADEN - Never Near (Thrill Jockey)
by Tim London
To weary cello chords and a stoned ride cymbal a song by two people I know nothing about that by all that’s holy shouldn’t be a single, in the traditional nature of an instant pop hit that embeds itself like glass splinters into your outer skin. It’s not like that. It’s more a gradual realisation that the universe is only part of another universe and you will never know anything more about either, beyond your garden gate. It’s like that.
YAKOV BERGER - Free To Fly (It's on Youtube)
by Ancient Champion
Thanks to all the birds for teaching us the real meaning of freedom. Thanks to Yakov Berger for making that apparent in case we had our heads down in our no nonsense mindless boogie that can be life. Gorgeous, of course from Yakov at the piano, not too many notes and therein lies a sadness, a question, for how much longer are birds to be free for? I was listening to this in the car while delivering an injured wild bird, injured by the beautiful misguided family cat, Daphne, to the vet, in a disused Scooby-Doo aquarium. We can't look after fish well either. Free To Fly, as delicate as an ecosystem.
Billie Eilish has a surprising new EP out now, review right here by Erin...
PUSSY RIOT - MATRIARCHY NOW (Neon Gold Records)
by Spanish Pantalones
What a disappointment Pussy Riot turned out to be. On paper when the band formed in 2011, they had every element a promising, hungry, potentially revolutionary band could ask for. This collective made up of a small group of young Russian women sang about feminism, LGBT rights, health care, education, and the takedown of Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. They cited Bikini Kill, the Riot Grrrl movement, and old Oi! bands like the Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects, Sham 69, and The 4-Skins as musical influences. And they looked like a proper punk band, complete with candy-colored terrorist masks, short A-line dresses, and 8-eye military boots. Pussy Riot could’ve been the next Clash. Instead, 11 years later, the band’s first release sounds like a clumsy collection of bland, slick, overproduced Top 20 pop you might hear from Dua Lipa or Olivia Rodrigo. Pussy Riot’s lyrics may still contain biting feminist lyrics, but the band's sound and look have become embarrassingly corny.
Main image by Luka Van der Cruyssen
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