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August 29, 2008

Woodhands

Normally, my instinct is to run away shrieking when I hear the phrase "keytar-and-drums duo," but you know, I didn't get to the top of the MP3 blogging pile by lacking an adventurous nature. (I didn't get there at all, actually, which is why I have the freedom today to post about a keytar-and-drums duo.) Woodhands offers up some surprisingly catchy sort-of-dance-punk, sort-of-electropop, entirely-keytar-and-drums (with some singing and other stuff) action, on their 2008 release Heart Attack.

Woodhands - I Wasn't Made For Fighting
Woodhands - Sailboats

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama Out (Hot Chip Remix)
Deerhoof - Running Thoughts
Susumu Yokota - Hagoromo

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2008

Apparat

Yep, I'm writing about Apparat again - oh well! On the 2-CD set Things to Be Frickled: Parts & Remixes, we're treated to a disc of Apparat's mixes of other people's work (such as Swayzak, Nitrada, Lusine), and a disc of other people's mixes of Apparat's work (by the likes of Telefon Tel Aviv, Thomas Fehlmann, Modeselektor, "and more!"). The first disc holds together a bit better, proving Apparat's deftness as a remixer; it almost feels like a true album. But the other disc certainly has its delights, and overall, this is a highly worthwhile collection.

Swayzak - Smile And Receive (Apparat rmx)
Nathan Fake - Charlie's House (Apparat rmx)
Apparat & Raz Ohara - Holdon (Chris De Luca vs. Phon.o rmx)

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Chemical Brothers - Prescription Beats
The Cardigans - I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer
The Kleptones - Jayout

Posted by Scotto at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2008

Niyaz

The latest release by world music supergroup Niyaz is a dense web of Persian influences underscored by electronics that are a bit more subtle than on their debut record. The album is called Nine Heavens; it's got one electronic disc, and one acoustic disc for them what wants their global fusion less fused and stuff.

Niyaz - Ishq (Love and the Veil)
Niyaz - Sadrang

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Daedelus - Our Last Stand
Pattern Is Movement - Sound Of Your Voice
Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts - Pearls

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2008

Friday grab bag

Here's an intricate, bittersweet, danceable track from Meanest Man Contest. From the 2008 Some People EP, released by Plug Research.

Meanest Man Contest - Some People (Just Get Off on Breaking Hearts)

This song drifted across my path recently, and I think I like it best knowing absolutely nothing about the artists responsible or what the rest of this album might sound like. Your mileage may vary!

The Dead Science - Throne Of Blood (The Jump Off)

After covering a recent release by The High Violets a while back, I decided to dig into their catalogue a bit and came across this delectable remix. From Satellite Remixes.

The High Violets - Chinese Letter (Ulrich Schnauss Mix)

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Definition Of Sound - Rise Like The Sun
jhno - funky porcini
hooverphonic - wake up (remixed by alex callier)

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2008

Ensemble Du Verre

Hmm, I guess a little bit of experimental acid jazz does in fact sound good right about now. From the 2008 release Sanctuary For Animals, by Ensemble Du Verre.

Ensemble Du Verre - Sanctuary For Animals
Ensemble Du Verre - Striped And Incredibly Bright

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - kitchen shock? (Pancake Partymix)
La Scala - The Harlequin
The Mermen - Soul Surfin'

Posted by Scotto at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2008

Salme Dahlstrom

"Welcome to wherever you are" is a fine sentiment, and more so as expressed on the stupidly catchy debut poptronica release by Salme Dahlstrom. The record has the very pleasing title of The Acid Cowgirl Audio Trade, and it shamelessly cribs from the electronic playbook of Fatboy Slim while injecting a healthy dose of truly pop sensibility. The best part is she apparently wrote and produced nearly the entire album by herself, yet the thing has a rock growl that feels live and is totally endearing. Dahlstrom is certainly not inventing anything new here (how could she when she relies on a chorus of "ba ba ba ba ba" on occasion?), but who cares? It's giddy fun, with a simultaneous sheen and edge. The record comes out tomorrow, but I couldn't wait; I had to write about it NOW!

Salme Dahlstrom - Bombastic
Salme Dahlstrom - C'mon Y'all

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Yuka Honda - Some Things Should Be Kept Unsaid
Lori Carson - I Saw The Light
Bjork - Unison

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2008

Ratatat

I'll never forget that electric feeling that accompanied the first time I heard Ratatat's track "Seventeen". Later when I checked out their debut album in full, by the time it was over I was thinking, "Why didn't they just repeat 'Seventeen' over and over again? Or release a 55-minute version of 'Seventeen'?" I think I never got around to listening to their second album because it wasn't a pile of "Seventeen" remixes. But I broke down and listened to their latest album, LP3, and was pleasantly surprised - why, any one of these tracks are good enough to be B-sides for a 55-minute version of "Seventeen."

Ratatat - Falcon Jab
Ratatat - Shempi

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Nitrada - Fading Away (Telefon Tel Aviv Version)
A Guy Called Gerald - Life Unfolds His Mystery
Unkle - Blade in the Back

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2008

Bark Hide and Horn

Bark Hide and Horn provide a rowdy but charming brand of indie pop on their debut record, National Road. Balancing a bit of grunge on one side and a healthy dose of horns and harmonies on the other, these tunes are catchy as all get out.

Bark Hide and Horn - Grandfather
Bark Hide and Horn - This Abdomen Has Flown

Recently on Comfort Radio:
DJ Spooky - Galactic Funk
Laika - Prairie Dog (Maxwell House Remix)
Art of Noise - Camilla

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2008

"Many Lessons: Hip Hop, Islam, West Africa"

You'd think reviewing a hip hop compilation would be tricky when you can't understand the language that anyone is using - but I barely listen to lyrics when they're in English, so who cares! In this case, I'm referring to a sharp compilation called Many Lessons: Hip Hop, Islam, West Africa, which is a cool integration of well-produced beats and African musical influences - although one of the better tracks on the record is built on a musical bed that's sampled from a Native American a cappella group, so who knows what else is going on here that I don't recognize. At any rate, give it a whirl - it may surprise you.

Sister Fa - Selebou Yoon
Docta - Xonet

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Rae & Christian - Divine Sounds
Steve Fisk - Love X 8
Dsico That No-Talent Hack - Minkulations (Mink Engine Version)

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2008

"Magnetism, That Electricity"

I was alerted recently to the existence of a rare and precious compilation called Magnetism, That Eletricity, and thought I should pass on the news before it's too late! The premise is simple: four bands, four sides of vinyl, all intended to showcase the Highpoint Lowlife label. On the bill: Mandelbrot Set with some seriously dronetastic ambient post-rock; weird-hop from Fisk Industries; delicious IDM from The Marcia Blaine School For Girls; and a lovely, intricate, evolving 19-minute side from The Village Orchestra. Here's the catch: they only made 300 vinyl copies and 100 CDR copies of the release, so if you want it, hopefully there's still time to snag it!

Fisk Industries - Rhetoric
The Marcia Blaine School For Girls - Bottle Stain

Recently on Comfort Radio:
System7 - Jupiter!
Caribou - Hands First
Stereolab - Strobo Acceleration

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

August 06, 2008

That Handsome Devil

As someone who once directed an adaptation of the Principia Discordia for the stage, I was likely to be predisposed toward That Handsome Devil, given the song that kicks off "Side B" of their new album is called "Viva Discordia". (Oh, and how cute is it that their CD, A City Dressed In Dynamite, has a "Side A" and "Side B"? Kids, no one listens to cassettes anymore. Joking, I'm joking here!) Anyway, That Handsome Bastard comes off like a weird cross between Foetus and Devotchka, and I'm all for it.

That Handsome Devil - Gonna Rob the Prez-O-Dent
That Handsome Devil - Viva Discordia

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Scissor Sisters - She's My Man
Aqualung - Breaking My Heart
David Last - Cat-Silver

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2008

New Young Pony Club

New Young Pony Club released a record in 2007 called Fantastic Playroom that made me super nostalgic for the days of Luscious Jackson; this is likely what LJ could have sounded like if they'd stuck around and gotten swept up into the dance punk scene. (In other words, awesome!)

New Young Pony Club - Hiding On The Staircase
New Young Pony Club - The Bomb (Original Version)

Recently on Comfort Radio:
The Notwist - Propeller 9
Liquid Acrobat - Lotus Kitty In Bloom
The Crystal Method - American Way

Posted by Scotto at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2008

"interlace [falling star]"

Hey, what do you know - Annex Theatre in Seattle is producing my new full-length play, interlace [falling star], and tonight is opening night! I wrote & directed the sucker, which we describe thusly:

"In this epic blend of science-fiction and fantasy, a mysterious amnesiac finds herself in the lobby of an infinitely tall building located in the center of the multiverse, the headquarters of the United Association of Interdimensionary Travelers. Her unexplained presence sets off a series of increasingly catastrophic events that not only compromise the security of the Association, but threaten to unravel the entire fabric of creation itself! Can a superhero with a divine pedigree, an android companion, and archangels and devils together combine forces to help 'Andrea Change' find her true identity, and prevent the impending apocalypse? Drawing on influences as diverse as the metaphysical explorations of Philip K. Dick, and the scrappy tradition of low-budget sci-fi television, interlace [falling star] is a unique saga of love, loss, and redemption."

I know, doesn't that sound ridiculously exciting? Tickets are now available for this fringe theatre sci-fi extravaganza, which you can see Friday and Saturday nights all throughout the month of August. For those of you who can't make it, you can read the script and get a big pile of MP3s from the soundtrack over on my web site.

The majority of the musics used in the play were provided by experimental ambient artist Pfly, and the tracks in question truly help establish a very otherworldly vibe for the show. Here are some samples:

Pfly - Domo
Pfly - Tongue Box
Pfly - Swallow The Pills

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Of Montreal - Faberge Falls For Shuggie
Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers (Massive Attack/DB mix)
Au - Tabula Smaragdina

Posted by Scotto at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)