Drekka – Take Care
14 tracks 47 minutes
I don't know how
to explain Drekka. First off Drekka is intentionally low fidelity
to the point that the noise floor sometimes competes with some of the quiet
sounds in the music. Also songs are intentionally left flawed.
Okay, so that probably already turned off most of the people who wouldn't
like the record anyway. So this is a very introspective record &
it feels kind of like looking through someone's photo album in an attempt
to learn who they are & what they're about & if they have the knowledge
that you've been seeking out for years on end. & this is probably
pretty much exactly the aesthetic that Michael Anderson is after, something
built from nostalgia & hope.
Hefner – Dead Media
2002 Too Pure, 15
tracks 46 minutes
I'm not sure what
I think of this. I had heard the rumors that Hefner was becoming
highly influenced by Kraftwerk, but I thought it was a joke. There
are some songs in the old style here, but then some of the stuff feels
like euro-trash dance music. The dilemna is it's still kinda good
even though it's euro-trash because you still have Darren doing the lyrics
on songs like "When the Angels Play Their Drum Machines." If you
like Hefner & Prozzak, this record will inevitably grow on you, but
if you're a fan of Hefner & Elvis Costello this record will really
piss you off. So anyway I'm done talking about the style aspect of
this record. I still like Hefner, I'm just confused.
Hockey Night – Rad
2002 lmg, 12 tracks
This band is kinda
like a trainwreck of styles & I'm not sure if it's awesome or horrible.
I think an accurate statement would be Beatie Boys meet Sonic Youth meet
kindercore. There's this song called "Battlestar Scholastica" that
is really amazing. Like I said I'm not sure what to think of this
record, but I do actually keep listening to it....
Mike Johnson – What
Would You Do
2002 Up Records,
13 tracks 58 minutes
like I finally found the Leonard Cohen record I've been looking for.
Well, really I think this is loads better than anything Cohen's probably
ever done, but up to par with what I expected before I ever heard a Cohen
album in its entirety. Very mellow almost lounge music with an outstanding
voice. When you're tired of listening to all the trendy intentionally
difficult music, try out Mike Johnson.
Lycia – tripping
back into the broken days
2002 Projekt, 12
tracks 64 minutes
I guess there's
a little bit of a debate whether this is a Lycia record or an Estraya record,
then again Mike's said in the past that all the side projects are really
just a veiled Lycia anyway. So anyway, here's what's going on for
the music acoustic guitar & vocals with controlled & pitched reverb
as an instrument & I think a little bit of keyboards. This is
not the angry young Lycia of a few years ago, this is the Lycia battling
between hope & desperation that was first hinted at on The Burning
Circle & Then Dust. Without the drum machine & harmonized
guitar, Lycia feels even sadder.
Jana McCall – Slumber
2002 Up Records, 9 tracks 42 minutes
I feel like there’s a track missing on
this cd because I really want to hear this girl cover Joy Division’s “New
Dawn Fades.” There is a pretty great cover of “Echoes” to make up
for that though. The music is very melodic & a little slow &
a lot good. The things I can think of this sounds most like are Six
by Seven ala “England & a Broken Radio” & maybe the Bad Seeds covering
a Stromkern song (which hasn’t happened) & maybe the Ramones when they
covered 60’s pop ballads & I think Miranda Sex Garden sounded something
like this & maybe parts of the Creatures first record & something
about it also reminds me of Hooverphonic. The instrumentation I think
is based around a guitar-bass-drums-vocals setup but includes some strings
& organ. I’ll probably be trying to get an interview with her
Mull Historical Society
2002 XL Records/Beggars Banquet, 11 tracks
This is along the same style as Ben Folds.
You know, that heavily catchy witty pop that’s like a punked up Rod Stewart
or something. It has a lot of piano based instrumentation with a
band on top. Really slick sounding, but still fairly addictive &
(for me at least) reminiscent of Radiohead on The Bends.
Six by Seven – The
Way I Feel Today
2002 Mantra Recordings,
11 tracks 41 minutes
The boys took it
up a notch. I'm really confused why they aren't huge enough that
i need to pretend not to like them to keep my air of coolness. This
is a beautiful record. I wouldn't say you can call it much of anything
besides rock & roll or possibly even (& I don't mean this slanderously)
pop music. I mean they still have some hard rockers on here like
"Flypaper for Freaks" & "Bad Man," but the "love song" singles on here
are just incredible "So Close" & "I.O.U. Love" & "American Beer"
are so flawless that I don't even know if I'd want to hear them attempted
to be played live. When I did the interview with Chris Olley about
their last record he said that this one might be their last because they
might have perfected the band's sound on it. Maybe they have.
Uros Rojko – Kammermusik
1995 ARS MUSI CI, 19 tracks (6 pieces)
Rojko studied under Ligeti. But
somehow he’s even more Ligeti than Ligeti. He writes classical music
that is often based on finding new sounds & tones in instruments like
violin & accordion. Pretty fantastic.