Friday, August 28, 2009

Tim Koch: Faena (4/5)

Year: 2006
Genre: Atmospheric Electronic Glitch
Label: Merck
TRT: 59:30

When I first got a hold of this release in 2006, it made an impression on me, and ended up barely missing a spot on my top ten list for the year.

After revisiting it a great deal of late, it startles me how much more I like it now as opposed to then. Very lush textures composed of interesting electronic beats, with a warm and inviting atmosphere accented by a healthy dose of glitch. Brings to mind Telefon Tel Aviv, or a more ambient and less spastic Autechre.

it’s a great album to listen to start to finish while driving or performing some other task.

01 Introduct
02 Distantamount
03 Ellermanstraat
04 Groove 90
05 Take The Stairs
06 Attery Bop
07 Intensive Porpoises
08 Blue And Grey
09 Shalike
10 Macrome
11 Gulf Streams
12 Seven Ate Nine
13 Kilteroff
14 X_To_M
15 Truth Sinks In
16 Waiting Room
17 Cutcut

Search Amazon for Tim Koch

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Steve Hillage: L (4.5/5)

: 1976
Genre: Progressive Psychedelic Space Rock
Label: Virgin
TRT: 44:01

With Todd Rundgren manning the board and Utopia along as backup band, ex-Gong member Hillage sets the controls for an electrified hippie-prog land of new age spiritual wonder on "L". Bookended by two appropriate covers in Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and George Harrison's often overlooked Yellow Submarine contribution, "It's All Too Much," the album applies a stoned '67 outlook to a clean and shimmery '76 production job by Rundgren, and while "L" occasionally reaches some intense levels, it's not so overstuffed as to leave one with the ice cream headache often associated with a really tripped out progressive band.

Throughout, Hillage lays down some tasty, fluid guitar work, sorta coming off like a more coherent, focused variation on most of the space-rock formulas....filtered through a heavy dose of Eastern mysticism. This is a great album to sit back and chill to.

01. Hurdy Gurdy Man (Donovan Cover)
02. Hurdy Gurdy Glissando
03. Elecktrick Gypsies
04. Om Nama Shivaya
05. Lunar Musick Suite
06. It's All Too Much (George Harrison Cover)

Search Amazon for Steve Hillage

Man: Revelation (4.5/5)

Year: 1969
Genre: Progressive Psychedelic Acid Rock
Label: Pye
TRT: 43:16

This album has everything that rock music had to offer at the time (1969) and more. These guys were ahead of their time as much as Led Zeppelin or Nektar were...but over time they just couldn't keep a consistent line-up or sound.

This debut album is the best start they could have had....with saturated organ sounds and amazing psychedelic/trippy guitar licks. The vocals are really unique in many ways. The main vocal lines have this hap-hazard kind of approach when he wants to accent something it's definitely there but when he doesn't it gets mixed in with some other lyrics and just flows. Also, the harmonies are some of the best I've heard because they have well crafted eerie harmonies that don't sound off at all and acutally somehow come across almost normal. There is also a piano chord that makes an appearance at the beginning and end of the album and it is my favorite sound on this great debut.

Overall....this is a must listen. I think everyone should give it a chance. There is so much going on here that I think a lot of people will be surprised by what they may enjoy.

01. And In the Beginning
02. Sudden Life
03. Empty Room
04. Paula ! Paula !
05. Love
06. Erotica
07. Blind Man
08. And Castles Rise In Childrens Eye
09. Don't Just Stand There
10. The Missing Pieces
11. The Future Hides Its Face

Search Amazon for Man

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Depressed Mode: Ghosts of Devotion (4.5/5)

Year: 2007
Genre: Atmospheric Death Doom
Label: Firedoom Music
TRT: 51:15

Depressed Mode started out as a joke amongst members of Shape of Despair, but quickly solidified as the potential was realized.

Even with a lame pun for a name, this band manages to be kickass. Part of what makes them so good is their ability to balance the mid-paced with the snails-paced.

The other part is their ability to weave the elements of female vocals, keys, piano and strings into their songs, without ever coming off as cheesy, trite or forced.

I may even like this release more than the new one, which will undoubtedly rank high on my end of the year best of metal list.

01 Alone
02 So Long
03 Words of Silence
04 Suffer in Darkness
05 Ghosts of Devotion
06 The Sun Is Dead
07 Fallen Angel
08 Dunkelheit
09 Cold

Search Amazon for Depressed Mode