My List Of Personal Shame - Part One:
Presented below are several releases that I liked and have added to my library in 2007, but, for a variety of reasons, for which I have failed to publish a review. As time passes and, due to embarrassing good fortune in life, the new releases pile up (I currently have over 50 items that I haven't even listened to yet, let alone reviewed!), older items tend to lose the focus of my attention. So, knowing that I'll, regrettably, never get around to publishing any proper reviews for these items, I do wish to, at least, publicly acknowledge and briefly describe them in order to give them some of the kudos they deserve.
NELS CLINE SINGERS: Draw Breath CD (Cryptogramophone) - Having witnessed two mind blowing live sets by the Nels Cline Singers at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA, earlier this year, I greeted their latest release ”Draw Breath” with much anticipation. As was the case with his recent live performances, Cline and his co-conspirators deliver a sylistically diverse set of musical creations ranging from somewhat minimal, yet spacious, free jazz experimentations to precise and beautiful post-rock stylings to incendiary outre rock extravaganzas, often punctuated by blasts of extreme experimental electronics, and, even, the occasional little pop-leaning gem. A couple of tracks tend to meander a bit and, as a result, are less satisfying, but overall, this a worthy release that displays three amazing improvisors using all of their collective powers to create an assortment of challenging and genre-blurring sounds.
EL-P: I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead DLP (Definitive Jux) - Legendary producer, rapper, and record mogul, El-P, returns with his first solo full-length release in almost 5 years. It was well worth the wait, too, as “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” is a worthy successor to his critically acclaimed solo debut “Fantastic Damage”. Clever rhymes, creative sounds (which incorporate many influences beyond hip-hop, such as hard rock, jazz, and so on), and outstanding production make “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” a winner with wide appeal.
GROUP DOUEH: Guitar Music From The Western Sahara LP (Sublime Frequencies) - This is a compilation of material from Morrocan guitarist, Doueh, whose real name is, Baamar Salmou. Doueh and his group (comprised mostly of family members) have been performing for over 20 years. Much like the people and culture of the disputed land which Doueh calls home, the music on this release reflects a unique mixture of Arabic and West African traditions, as well as the unmistakable influence of western blues and rock. Unique and genre-defying, this is a prime example of the kind of music fuels the fire of your Sonictroubadour and is another great musical discovery from the fine folks at Sublime Frequencies!
LA OTRACINA: Tonal Ellipse of the One CD (Holy Mountain) - La Otracina is a Brooklyn-based project led by drummer Adam Kriney. “Tonal Ellipse of the One” is this trio’s second full-length release. It contains five heavy and somewhat schizophrenic jams, which incorporate a wide array of influences ranging from classic psychedelia, prog, and krautrock to the noisy, improvisational psych of the modern Japanese underground. An excellent album of "user friendly" jams that earned repeated spins for me!
LOS YORKS: 68 LP (Get Back) - This is a reissue of the second LP by 60’s Peruvian garage-psych group Los Yorks. Originally released in 1968 (hence the album’s title) on the legendary MAG label (which also issued releases by groups such as Laghonia, Tarkus, and Traffic Sound among others!), this LP contains ten tracks of respectable garage-psych. Like so many bands from south of the US during that era, Los Yorks do rely heavily on covers of “hits” by the famous bands of the era. Unlike the majority of their counterparts, who merely sounded like cheap imitators of the classic groups/styles of the time, Los Yorks, for the most part, make the material they cover their own; check out "Mira Tu", which interpolates the Seeds' classic "Tripmaker". In addition, they do perform some cool originals. Certainly not among the top tier of non-anglo 60's psych artists, but surely worthy of the attention of collectors of authentic psych sounds.
Did Not Add -
Running Count For The Year
Did Not Add 18/16%