These are the older archives of my little notes on CDs I've acquired.

See my Blog for the current list

(the full list of recent acquisitions)

Boards of Canada BOC Maxima

Another nail in the coffin for the crowd that always says "the demos were far better than the mainstream releases". This is an early version of "Music Has The Rights To Children" and it just doesn't have the all consuming epic sweep that the official release has. Great music still - some of the best electronics of the 90s for sure. 7

Johnny Cash The Essential

True shit-kicking music from a singer with a great voice who was a fantastic story teller to boot. 8

Brian Eno Apollo
Thursday Afternoon
Kite Stories

More ambient noodling from the king of ambient noodling. Kite stories is the best of the later installation pieces I've heard but it's the tones used are slightly unpleasant to my ears. Apollo is pretty good, though - reminiscent of the sound of Ambient 4 if not the mood. 7

The Homosexuals Homosexuals CD (ReR)

Beautifully remastered by Bob Drake, adding punch and hardness without losing any of their DIY mastery, this is a great release. The 3 CD from Hyped To Death is due soon (and will include this stuff) but this single album hangs together so well, is played with such vigour and has such great song writing that I'll probably go back to this one more often. 9

Neulander Smoke & Fire

A veteran synth player (looking pretty good for his age) and, I suppose, his girlfriend or wife doing the singing. A couple of great electro songs and a pile of goodish ones but not enough melody to keep me interested the whole way through. 7

PIL Flowers of Romance

Everyone disregards this album to a large extent but I think it's the most listenable of the PIL ouvre. I remember how popular it was in inner city Sydney at the time of it's release. Nice cover too. 7

The Science Group Spoors

RIO and King Crimson influenced math rock (I think that's the term). Has some moments of clarity where the (obviously fantastic) musicianship unites the track but in many cases I get the feeling their all showing off. 7

Various Trojan Dub Box set

Terrific music to have in the background and forget. If I concentrate too much on the actual material I get annoyed with the bouncy melodies. 7

Arthur Russel The World of...

The dancier material from his eclectic output. Sometimes as frustrating as his half finished demos indicate but often weirdly, interestingly minimalist. 8

Amon Duul II Tanz Der Lemminge

I have no idea why it took me this long to get this - maybe because I disliked Wolf City and thought it'd be more of the same. But, no, it's a continuation of the triipy psych of the 1st 2 albums. great stuff. 8

Animal Collective Sung Tongs

Every time I hear another AC record I'm hoping for something earth shattering and that never happens but their lovely mix of avant and roots music is still as out enticing as ever. 7

Beta Band Heroes To Zeros
Live Vancouver 1999

I can finally see how they write their songs now - the format has hardly changed since I first heard them. Although there's some great tracks on H2Z there's also nothing as wonderfull as they've previously done. And where's the 10 minute extended track? 7 The Vancouver show is pretty good in a bootleg way. 7

Heaven 17 Penthouse and Pavement

Imagine my amazement when I realized that I knew every track of this record almost note perfect. Jeez, we must have played this to death at parties 'cause I certainly never owned it. 7

Spektrum Enter the...

Major glimpses of H17 and Mutant Disco in this modern UK electro dance rock band. Still sounds fresh and new, amazingly. 8

Devendra Banhart Rejoicing the Hands

A bit more hi-fi than the last LP and with a warmer folk feeling that suits his voice very well. Still as crazy as a coot or so it seems. A true original. 8

Piere Bastien Mecanoid

Mecano 'toys' making clunky rhythmic music with suitably off-kilter overdubs. 7

Captain Beefheart Paradiso Amsterdam 1980

With that last great band playing a mixture of old and new with all the spunk you'd want. Great sound too. 8

John Cooper Clarke 1st 3 albums

Although his singular ouvre becomes grating on continued listening, there are enough fantastic tracks to make it all worth while. 7

Deerhoof Milkman

Definitely less ranting than on the last LP and it shows a distinct pop song sensibility. Marvellous all round - my bet of 2004 so far. 8

Jethro Tull Thick As A Brick

As soon as I put this on I knew I'd remember ever last little fragment. And, unfortunately, I wasn't wrong. Ya know, I didn't even like it that much at the time and never even owned it but it seemed all consuming for around 6 months. My English teacher even tried to use it to discuss poetry. 6

The Loop Orchestra Not Overtly Orchestral

Even with the plethora of sampled / looped music available these days, there is simply no band on earth that sounds like this. All hiss and weird snippets of whatever, put together with great attention to the way things interact. 8

Mars The Complete Studio Recordings

I'd dare to venture that there is not one band in the world more over-rated than Mars. 6

a batch of things from RLW Acrid Acme (of) P16.D4
Recordings From 1980-1993
Points of Reference

Acrid Acme and Recordings are a mesmerising use of the P16.D4 back catalogue, cut up even more via various means. 7
Points ventures into more ambient territory but with an intent that's hard to pin down. 8
There was a whole lot more but it's obvious the broad scope of the work is exhilerating.

Plastic People Of The Universe re-releases III, V and Vi

I borrowed a whole slew of this bands material but had to pare it down to the 3 best. I can't understand a word of what they're saying (and, as I've noticed before, this may be a good thing) but the music is wonderfull. Post-psychedelic jams, RIO influenced songs and obviously vibrant playing. 8

Tori Amos Tales of a Librarian

Another excellent release from Ms Amos. I like her even if most people I know can't stand them. Slight reworks of the back catalogue that, really, don't add a lot to the material but pique the interest of all compulsives. 7

Dandy Warhols
Erase Errata
Trans Am
Welcome to the Monkey House
The Power Out
At Crystal Palace
Secret Wars

The Warhols are a band I've tried to ignore but this one, like all their others, has some great tunes. 7   Electrelane have lost all their o.t.t. organ playing and are probably better for it. 7   Erase are unloveable no matter how hard I try - maybe if I was 20 again? 7   Oneida need a good does of barbituates but are the best of this Indie lot none-the-less. 7   Trans Am... well they try hard if nothing else. 6

Fred Frith Gravity
Guitar Solos
Step Across The Broder

After enjoying the Art Bears box so much I thought I'd go back and revisit Frith's early 80s New York influenced material. And it's lovely. Once again my view on these albums must have been jaundiced by love of new bands at the time. But, on the other hand, there's still an element of the scientist about them, rather than the personal tales I think they want to be. Guitar Solos compiles all his material from the 3 LPs + and is nice to have in one place. Not so sure about Step... but it may grow on me. 8 ...

TV on the Radio Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes

Maybe not as focussed as their wonderful 2003 EP but still containing some great tracks. Nice to hear some sax droning away too. 8

Art Bears Art Bears Box Set

3 cds containing the newly (and lovingly) remastered original releases, 2 cds of fantastic (for the most part) remixes (and this is amazing to me - they make some of the originals come alive) + (for subscribers like me) another cd of remixes and excellent live material (none from the rio festival that i already have) and a little 7". Plus booklets, and reminiscences and so on. A grand 25th anniversary present. 8

click HERE for some not so recent notes

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