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a couple lame reviews

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  • Davis Ford
    thought i d post this. there s always that oft-mentioned delete button. Lussier, Tetrault Dur Noyau Dur Ambiances Magnetiques (contact info: 4580 avenue de
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 10, 1999
      thought i'd post this. there's always that oft-mentioned 'delete' button.

      Lussier, Tetrault
      Dur Noyau Dur
      Ambiances Magnetiques
      (contact info: 4580 avenue de Lorimier, Montreal (Quebec) H2H 2B5,
      www.cam.org/~dame_cd/ )

      Dur Noyau Dur consists of Rene Lussier on guitar and Martin Tetrault on
      turntables. Tetrault does very little 'scratching'; instead he exploits the
      mechanics of the turntable, and successfully manages to extract every
      possible sound he can from it. Lussier provides the perfect accompaniment
      to his strategy by examining all of the guitar's physical possibilities.
      Together, they've made one of the finest records of the year - hands down.
      At times, Lussier attacks the guitar in Derek Bailey fashion, sending a
      blitzkrieg storm of notes across the canvas. Other times he remains
      reserved and calm, only lightly, and sparingly offering small phrasings.
      Tetrault responds with the repetitive iterations of the needle smacking the
      center pole, and bouncing back (only to begin the process once again). This
      is only skimming the epidermis of Tetrault's arsenal. The records he
      chooses are unrecognizable, but there are plenty of background grumblings,
      and ambient storm waves. Crackling frequencies bubble and spew while
      Lussier provides mood via spare notes. Their timing is amazing. A
      climactic situation involves Lussier repetitively striking the same note
      sequence, while Tetrault builds a tremendous roar involving actual
      mechanical turntable sounds in conjunction with the 'out-there' selections
      he's manipulating on the mat. Tetrault has even managed to record what
      sounds like the internal gears 'whirring'. The listener gets to experience
      firsthand the trials and tribulations of the turntable as Tetrault abuses
      every single aspect of it. Brilliant.

      Monolake
      Interstate
      Imbalance Computer Music [ML/I]
      (contact info: none)

      Listening to Interstate, the first assumption made is that the walls are
      made of some newly developed material which resonates sound continually.
      The sounds emanate from everywhere.
      On top of that, there are so many sound components that make up
      a whole song, it is a dizzying experience trying to process them all as they
      are reflected from all surfaces. On top of that even still, the timing
      Monolake employs is multi-layered, making the whole listening process
      almost too complicated to bear. This would be true if it weren't for the
      type of sounds that Monolake uses: soft bass thumps, high-treble snare
      snaps, bubbling digital water, soothing synth washes... The final product
      is entirely relaxing, but it also serves the dual function of making you
      think about processing at the same time. This whole album is almost based
      around the algorithm of a decelerating bouncing ball. Sure, Aphex Twin,
      Autechre, etc. have explored this, but with Monolake, the algorithm is
      looping, and the 3-Dimensional audio they've layered throughout make it
      sound so rich, full, and complicated that it stands in its own category.
      Underneath this matrix is a typical Chain Reaction album. The thumping 2/4
      bass is almost always present, along with the soft synth repetitions that
      slowly synch in and out of time. The complicated mixture of the final
      product, though, makes Interstate a dizzying, worthwhile mind-fuck.

      The Lonesome Organist
      Cavalcade
      Thrill Jockey Records
      (contact info: PO Box 476794, Chicago, IL 60647, lonesome@...)

      The Circus is back in town. The Lonesome Organist, once again playing
      Ring-Master in a tent of crazy performers all played by himself. One can't
      help recalling old Looney Tunes cartoons where they pulled out the
      one-man-band contraption and lit up the decibel meter. His second outing
      doesn't stray too far from his first, except that he's mastered some new
      instruments (bowed & struck saw, saxophone, samples). On top of that, his
      arsenal includes any number of guitars, pianos, organs, steel drums, tap
      shoes, harmonica, and percussion instruments. Cavalcade is about half
      instrumental, involving these bizarre musical "ditties" that sound like
      background ambience at a Freakshow. Melodica and chime piano waltz along to
      gypsy patterns, and occasionally he feels the urge to yodel all the hell
      over it. On
      "Flew Out My Window", he plays a sort of southwestern country-rock riff on
      the guitar, and sings through a distortion pedal; all the while, the bowed
      saw eerily wafts over the top. I'm completely stumped at this point,
      because the Lonesome Organist vows to play all instruments simultaneously.
      How anyone can play the guitar and the bowed saw at the same time is beyond
      me. His live show should explain everything. Having witnessed it once, I
      was a believer, but Cavalcade has posed some new challenges which I await to
      see executed.

      Various Artists
      Extracted Celluloid
      Illegal Art / Seeland
      (contact info: www.negativland.com , www.detritus.net/illegalart )

      This is the second installment in the IllegalArt series. The first brought
      "Deconstructing Beck", a compilation of sound manipulators whose only
      limitation was using popular music icon 'Beck' as their primary source for a
      musical canvas. Extracted Celluloid is constructed entirely from film
      samples (hence, title..), and it's better than its Beck counterpart.
      Leading off with the "Titanic" theme, Rudjak Manigz (most of the
      participatory artists are layered deep with pseudonames) has stretched out
      the original voice and echoed it, at the same time providing the song's
      rhythm with what sounds like the sounds of the ship actually breaking. It's
      funny, this song has more power than the whole film itself. It sounds like
      Julee Cruise being sent through a thousand processors. Huk Don Phun follows
      with "3 Kung Fu Pieces". He/She has managed to sampled the best bits of
      Kung Fu movie action effects, including the scratchy 'swish' involved when
      the fighters wave their arms through the air. The difference here is that
      the
      effects swim violently in and out of existence with a sawtooth synth
      algorithm. Track 3, "Manic", by Joseph Hyde is one of the more powerful
      pieces. The source material is difficult to pin down, but the song
      explodes in your face with immediacy. It runs six minutes through a number
      of suspense / action theme cliches. One of the more impressive pieces,
      contributed by Wet Gate, is a musique concrete lover's dream. The sound of
      a creaking ship slums along, but by the end of the song it resembles more of
      a tinny train engine. Equally tinny-sounding thunder blasts in at random
      moments, and an announcer interrupts each momentary lapse of reason with,
      "Does you brain now tell you what's making this sound?.......Of course."
      Later on, 'EC' offers deconstructions of Ennio Morricone, incestuous Wizard
      of Oz
      interpretations, and plastic surgery disasters. Like the Beck project,
      Extracted Celluloid works less on a song front, and more on an experimental
      sound experience. Snippets of familiar films will flash by, only to be
      completely destroyed and manipulated into something unexpected.
      Compilations of this caliber are few and far between.

      Jean Derome
      Torticolis (Live)
      Ambiances Magnetiques
      (contact info: 4580 avenue de Lorimier, Montreal (Quebec) H2H 2B5,
      www.cam.org/~dame_cd/ )

      Derome, 1/6 of the live band performing on Torticolis, is primarily a
      saxophone player who dabbles on flute. By no means is this a free jazz
      outfit. What they accomplish on Torticolis is more akin to the noodling you
      might find on one of Zappa's "You Can't Do That On Stage.." performances.
      Previously outlined chord generations have been defined, with great lee-way
      allowed for improvisational events. However, there's less squawking, and
      more of a communicative passing off of solo variations on the main theme.
      Even given that, no one has center stage, as evidenced on Track 5 (I'll
      spare the lengthy French title) when lead guitarist Rene Lussier begins
      journeying and drummer Pierre Tanguay changes tempos midway through. A solo
      turns into two simultaneous solos, and eventually the horns kick back in
      with the lead theme. It isn't uncommon for the whole band to be soloing all
      at once, eventually melding back into what they started with. It would be
      easy to cite Zorn as a contemporary, but there is no trace of the klesmerish
      jazz you might find with Masada. Instead, the themes are more along the
      lines of Zappa's attempts at complicated song structures. This isn't a bad
      thing, in fact this band really blazes with the intensity and emotion that
      seems to be missing from most of Zappa's 'forced' compositions. There are
      few disappointments on Torticolis; the main one being missing the live
      performance of the recording.

      Gas
      Konigsforst
      Mille Plateaux
      (contact info: www.force-inc.com , ac@... )

      Vaporous condensation slowly being pulsed out of the speakers - stretched
      out Wagnerian symphonic samples panning from left and right - subtle
      crackling of vinyl - and finally, a deep, subdued bass resonating it's tone
      rhythmically throughout. That's the Gas formula. On the third full-length
      release, it works again. Eerie, and beautiful; subtle, but powerful;
      Konigsforst offers little new to the formula other than some melodic sampled
      guitar tones. Wolfgang Voigt (Gas) has an incredibly peculiar sense of
      timing. There does seem to be a method to his madness. He'll take a
      droning string sample and create a song out of a few chord changes,
      accentuated by the sampled guitar previously mentioned. All the while
      running at a moderate 200bpm. In the middle of Track 2 (all tracks are
      untitled), he repeats what might be considered the prelude to the chorus,
      over and over again...anticipating the return to major-chord harmony. It
      holds out for a good minute or two until finally returning on a beat shifted
      up from the previous rhythm. None of this is really heard directly, because
      Gas is subconscious music existing in the back of the mind. Paying
      attention to it only serves to discover these strange timing sequences.
      It's much nicer just letting your head do it on its own schedule without
      forcing it. Good night.

      Little Pork Chop
      Welcome To Little Pork Chop
      Sympathy For The Record Industry
      (contact info: PO Box 20637, NY, NY 10009)

      Back from the dead, Jerry Teel has teamed up once again with Lisa Jayne of
      the former once-great Honeymoon Killers. This time around, their age shows
      a little: less trash, more country. Little Pork Chop mix it up with greasy
      diner-rock (the insert even has them photoed at a greasy spoon); a blend of
      covers (Gram Parsons, Carter Family, etc.) and originals. Nothing's really
      been lost over the years, though. They still know how to burn through a
      dirty blues cover. Lisa sings half, and Jerry counterparts. Little
      Porkchop mix it up with old-time country, gritty-shit blues, 50's garage,
      and Detroit soul. I don't care how old these people get, their records are
      magnets. I'm gone.
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