This playlist accompanies my reviews for BT 75, out now.
Chris Brokaw – “Exemptive”
The former Come guitarist and Codeine drummer turned solo artist has used his talents for film soundtracks lately. This beautiful piece says so much without any words. From the Now, Forager Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP on Dais.
Amon Düül II – “On the Highway (Mambo La Liberta)”
Not many bands can get back together after 30 years and produce an album worthy of their catalog, but these heady krautrockers managed to do it. Here’s the driving opener to Düülirium on Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra.
Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 – “African Airways”
The youngest son of legendary afrobeat king, Fela Kuti, continues his father’s legacy by touring and recording with his father’s group, The Egypt 80. On Seun’s third album, he maintains the tradition of politically charged anthems via outstanding musicianship. From A Long Way to the Beginning on Knitting Factory.
Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – “VIP Pt.2” (Live in Berlin)
The original afrobeat maestro used his music as a vehicle of civil disobedience against the dictatorial Nigerian government at the time. He never pulled a punch, yet consistently produced memorable, melodic music as he waged war on his oppressors. This rare live performance is from the Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, also on Knitting Factory.
John Cale & Terry Riley – “Church of Anthrax”
Right after Cale left The Velvet Underground, but before embarking on his solo career, he recorded this astonishing album with minimalist composer, Terry Riley. It’s a mind-blowing blend of krautrock, prog and psychedelia, perhaps best exemplified in this title track. From the Church of Anthrax reissue on Esoteric/Cherry Red UK.
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO – “Dark Star Blues” [EXCERPT] NOTE: The review I wrote for BT 75 was cut from the issue, so I’ll put it here:
As to be expected, AMT head honcho Kawabata Makoto graciously offers some of his loudest, heaviest tracks for his super-prolific Japanese psychedelic collective’s umpteenth release. Featuring original vocalist Cotton Casino, Astrorgasm takes on an Amon Düül II feel amid the characteristically chaotic krautrock sound. The opening title track builds from an interstellar vacuum to motorik hyperdrive, a perfect prolog to “Dark Star Blues,” where Makoto’s guitar transcends even Hendrix to become pure LSD-25 radiance. “Kiss in the Tangerine Dream House” blends a prog-ish, seemingly Germanic, folk riff with Casino’s Teutonic vocals for a barbaric tribal dance that eventually warps into interstellar space, while “Pleasure Mantra of Sorrows” provides the marigold comedown with glitch-y ambience punctuated by tones, frequencies and sparse acoustic instruments. Have no fear, just jack in and release.
From Astrorgasm from the Inner Space on Important.
Negativland – “Holy War”
Never ones to shy away from difficult subjects, the copyright decontrollers take on religion with this double CD packaged in an actual King James Bible. Whether you’re a proselytizing atheist or fanatic zealot, your buttons will be pushed by these demigods of sampling culture. From It’s All in Your Head on Seeland.
Olekranon – “Redout” Ryan Huber releases yet another excellent industrial noise album under his crypto-medical moniker. This throbbing bit of pulse and static shows just how far he’s come. From Aphelion on Inam.
The Juan Maclean – “Love Stops Here”
The former Six Finger Satellite guitarist, aka John Maclean, has produced electronic music for over a decade, but here, he really hit his stride with an italo-flavored opus featuring LCD Soundsystem vocalist Nancy Whang. From In a Dream on DFA.
Scott Walker + SunnO))) – “Bull”
Former Walker Brothers teen idle, Scott Walker, has released some of the most challenging music of the past 30 years. His collaboration with SunnO))) is as fascinating as it sounds like it would be. From Soused on 4AD.
The Barbarellatones – “Run Rabbit Run”
As silly as Robbie Quine can be, he also writes some very pretty songs, such as this Bowie-ish ditty about Warhol Superstar Edie Sedgwick. From the self-released Fake English Accents.
The Melvins – “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad”
For this outing, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover teamed up with JD Pinkus and Paul Leary from Butthole Surfers for an incredibly solid, yet psychedelically twisted, Melvins experience. From Hold It In on Ipecac.
Rowland S. Howard – “Wayward Man”
As head co-conspirator, along with Nick Cave, of The Birthday Party, Howard helped change underground music for the better. His final album, recorded just before he passed away in 2009 from liver disease, proves just how strong of a songwriter he was. From Pop Crimes on Fat Possum.
The Frantix – “Face Reality”
Having placed Denver on the hardcore map with the anthemic “My Dad’s a Fucking Alcoholic” in 1983, Frantix, like many of their peers, released some 7“s and tapes before fading into underground obscurity. Their long overdue discography documents a band brazenly blending Blag Flag angst with Flipper nihilism. From My Dad’s a Fucking Alcoholic on Alternative Tentacles.
GG Allin – “Bite It You Scum” (live)
Love him or hate him, GG Allin released several arguably influential albums that pushed the boundaries of humanity and taste that still resonate today. This song, recorded in Detroit during his final tour in 1993 with The Murder Junkies, is one of his best. From the (Un)Censored: Live 1993DVD on MVD.
The New Order – “Declaration of War”
When The Stooges finally imploded in 1974, Ron Asheton returned to LA, recruited Dennis Thompson from The MC5 and Jimmy Recca from the under-documented two-guitar Stooges era and formed The New Order, who would plow through two singers before finally falling apart in 1976. From Featuring Ron Asheton, Dennis Thompson and Jimmy Recca on Cleopatra.
Modern Pets – “Sweet Frustration” NOTE: The review I wrote for BT 75 was cut from the issue, so I’ll put it here:
Berlin, Germany’s Modern Pets first popped on the US radar with their impressive side of a split with Portland, OR’s P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. in 2012. Fortunately, they didn’t disappear, though they seem to have dropped the keyboards in favor of a more straightforward punk rock approach. Side A’s “B.I.Y.S.” uses GG Allin’s “Bite It You Scum” for inspiration, though the songs are completely different. This “Bite It” is that rollicking song with an infectious chorus from a Killed By Death comp that you play over and over. The darker, heavier “Sweet Frustration” is even better, coming across as a power pop Johnny Thunders, and shows just what fantastic songwriters these guys are. Grab your favorite German beer and go!
From the “B.I.Y.S.” b/w “Sweet Frustration” 7” on Sweet Frustration
RF7 – “She’s Not My Jesus”
You won’t read about them in books, but RF7 were one of the first hardcore bands from the greater LA area in Southern California. To their credit, they’re still doing it the way they’ve always done it with no concern for the punk rock glitterati. From 101 on Smoke 7.