Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UI - answers

UI (ooo-eee) were a post/math-rock group from New York active from the early 90's.
The band had a bit of a different approach in the genre with bass-heavy emphasis, opting for two bass players, à la groups like FULLARMOR. They also spruced their sound with timpani, tuba, synthesizers, and even banjo, with a strong reliance on overlapping samplers.

Came across their final full-length 'answers' (2003) recently, really diverse and fresh...could probably drop it in the pond somewhere between Tortoise and Don Caballero.

mind the graves

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

E-Life - Eleven

E-Life (Elvis de Oliveira) is an MC/DJ from Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Active as a solo artist since '95, E-Life gained some attention touring through Europe, as well as minor radio-play from his initial singles -- climbing Dutch charts throughout his career. Oliveira released two full-lengths, his concluding 'E=MC²' in 2002, and his 1999 debut gem, 'Eleven'.

Tally up another for hip-hop gems; first listen through 'Eleven' clicked right away. Great flow/voice, sharp beats, little to minimal filler.
The album opens to bells and electronic chimes, which hints the pace -- everywhere from tasteful autotune to pulsing dirges from the outside (and in) of the game are explored by E-Life.

Not positive he's done or just hiatus...but be there if he returns.

mind the graves

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AKA - Forever In Rock

AKA were a hard-rock group from Indonesia in the 70's. Afro-centric vibes grounding mathematic prog, wailing vocals. Some nice jams.
A friend of mine passed this along after the recent death of their founder/lead singer Ucok.
Don't judge the book by its cover...
I once read an entire nude magazine with only words on the front.

Forever In Rock
mind the graves

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Magical Power Mako

Aside from having one of the best names ever, Makoto Kurita's Magical Power Mako project is an underground staple in Japanese psych/avant garde.
Kurita left primary school to fulfill his musical itch, beginning to experiment with synths and integrated samples/field recordings. His house overlooked a hot springs and an octagonal hotel, which Kurita believed was watching him while he worked; spurring his first release at 14 -- 'Summer 1970: Things a 14-year-old boy thinks about' (if you're curious, the opening song was called "I Bought An Extraordinarily Big Eye In The Town One Day For A Good Bargain Price")

He recorded almost constantly afterward, but his perfectionist nature led to many tapes never seeing the light of day. This guarded behavior caused minor issues with record labels, but ultimately his debut 'Magical Power', followed particularly by 'Super Record', cemented Kurita as one of the exciting and inventive artists in the Japanese underground.

Kurita is still releasing work today (scattershot nature has swayed more toward tranquil ambient works
), while work from his earlier catalog is still being unearthed and appreciated by experimental mavens alike.

Maybe not the kind of records you'll put on in groups, unless you're trippin on smarties candies or something -- but both albums are just great examples of creative introspection done right. Both cover a lot of ground but still manage to feel linked in their progression.
Def give these a try.

Magical Power [1973]

Super Record [1975]
mind the graves

Friday, December 11, 2009

Burn Down Rome - Devotion

Burn Down Rome were a hardcore/experimental/punk sandwich from the UK that were sadly short-lived, with the debut/final full-length, 'Devotion' in 2008.

The first few songs sound like "you broke up with me", more straining and uppity melancholy, and then from "XO" onward (fuggin' amazing track, btw) sounds like "you BITCH!".
The flow has heart all across the tracks -- whichever avenue they chose to explore, it feels genuine.
Def a sleeper capable to be a grower.

mind the graves

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Troubles - Sen'taur

Troubles are a nice ambient/post-rock outfit from the UK.
Just recently stumbled across them with their '07-tour EP '
Sen'taur'. Little cramped on time for a proper write-up, but it's better to just listen to them opposed to me talking about the way I think they sound.
Yah' heard.

mind the graves

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dark Meat - Truce Opium

Dark Meat is a collective from Athens, Georgia. The group once maintained a solid 30+ members -- all the more entertaining that the project started off as a Neil Young cover band.

The band still maintains their affinity for Neil, but has since reduced to a 9-core crew. Implementing drone instruments like the tanpura, bulbul tarang, and sitar, the group successfully strives for that new age psychedelic sound -- often leading you down rolling cascades of guitar before marching you back up to an accompanied folk-psychout complete with chanting vocals, Tuvan throat-singing, all within loose free-jazz layers of buzzes and feedback.

Good album to absorb in headphones to discover all the ins & outs.

Truce Opium
mind the graves

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dangers - Messy, Isn't It?

New Dangers.
Just in time to be an early-late favorite of the year. Expect the same to-the-throat bombast found on '

Messy, Isn't It?
mind the graves

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zegota - Reclaim!

Zegota were an experimental punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina.
The group's third full-length slightly drifted into post-hardcore territory with 2004's '
Not only did it contain an amalgam of punk/hardcore, but even tribal/African rhythms from their drummer who studied abroad, whom also influenced the usage of the kora.

Pretty awesome stuff -- the blending of styles is really more of a separation of styles thrown together making for a nice mix ... def worth hearing to the conclusion for the final three tracks, where the usage of kora and varied instrumentation/song-writing approach becomes a lot more evident.

mind the graves