Well, I've been busy, so I've been slow to process and post the results of my latest musical expeditions...
EXTRA GOLDEN: Ok-Oyot System LP (Thrill Jockey) -Two guys from D. C.'s Golden meet two guys from Kenya's Orchestra Extra Solar Africa. The result is an interesting mix of African rhythms and guitar work augmented with a light psychedelic (i.e., lots of wah wah, etc.) treatment. Unlike so many other attempts at blending seemingly disparate musical cultures, this sounds very natural and unforced. Like people of like minds trading ideas and licks and having fun. Quite enjoyable and unique.
KANE, JONATHAN: I Looked At the Sun CD-EP (Table Of The Elements) - A driving beat and clean, repetitive guitar figures (augmented by tasteful, atmospheric pedal steel !) are combined to create a unique musical space where the blues and the minimalist sounds of the 60's NYC avant garde happily co-exist. Excellent!
Hey, after playing this EP and last year's, "February" (see below) in succession, I was inspired to put on Terry Riley's, "Reed Streams", which is a good thing and, IMHO, proves the connection between Kane's music and the greats of the early 60's NYC avant garde. Yeah, I know Riley wasn't a NYC guy, but, at various points, he travelled a similar sonic path as Conrad, Young, et al.
KANE, JONATHAN: February CD (Table Of The Elements) - Liked the recent EP enough to check out his release from late last year, too. Sonically similar, though a little more aggressive and dense, with "Sis" and "Motherless Child" being the highlights. Another winner!
PAIK: Monster Of The Absolute CD (Strange Attractors Audio House) - Paik takes the next logical step in their musical progression. Overall, this is pretty similar to their previous releases (i.e., heavy, stoney shoegaze/psych), but a little more "direct" (i.e., a little cleaner production, drums farther up in the mix, some more up tempo tracks, etc.) sonically. Still quite enjoyable, but not a threat to either, "Corridors" nor, "Satin Black" as my favorite Paik albums.
FAKE, NATHAN: Drowning In a Sea of Love CD (Border Community) - OK, so electronica isn't my strong suit, but I do try to be aware of all types of music and I have certainly bought some electronica releases that I really enjoyed (Stars As Eyes, etc.), so I do buy some electronica from time to time. Sonically, this ranges from trippy electro pop ('Bawsey', etc.) to driving Kraut-inspired rockers like the album's highlight, "The Sky Was Pink". Overall, I found this release to be quite satisfying. It's still pretty hard for me to describe in words which/how/why some electronica works for me...
Did Not Add
ROOMMATE: Songs the Animals Taught Us CD (Plug Research) - ...and some doesn't. Although, it was close. The interesting moments just didn't outnumber the less interesting moments.
RED KRAYOLA: Introduction LP (Drag City) - Mayo's band was great in the 60's and has had a few good moments since their heyday, but, despite all the hype to the contrary, this isn't one of them - ZZZZzzzz.