Music/Program Director Brian Turner calls 'em as he sees 'em.

V/VM Sick Love (V/VM)
The demented pups in Stock-Hausen & Walkman affiliates V/VM have swung as of late into deconstructing schlock (with recent import 7" singles taking on Falco of "Rock Me Amadeus" vein and more recently Chris deBurgh's "Lady In Red", included on this CD) with an approach that more or less shovels on piles of dirt to the originals rather than doing any kind of Plunder-phonic type action. Here, they continue to basically crack open the shells that case these songs, scooping out the goo and smearing it all over the place. Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" gets slowed down to like 15 rpm, and an unnatural fixation with beef works its way into titles more often than not (apparently they dragged various livestock onstage at a recent UK slot opening for Sonic Youth). A great example of art via the skewer. V/VM purists may not like this as much as the other releases, but some nice radio moments.

SENSATIONAL Heavyweighter (Wordsound)
Speaking of 15 rpm, possibly one of the most bizzare MCs returns to slobbering, lo-fi form. Brooklyn's Sensational's rhymes (which more often than not DON'T) flop through a gauze of wet beats, a heavy hand on the reverb fader, and a vibe that one could imagine the cast of KIDS lying comotose on the floor zoning out to among empty 40s and an all-night drug party. The sounds are futuristic and beats are totally happening. He was supposed to sit in with Small Change but was a no-show, jeez, they definitely woulda needed an interpreter between those two (just kidding $C).

MAURICE McINTYRE Humility in the Light of the Creator (Delmark)
Awesome reissue from AACM member (his first disc as a leader), 1969. Like Sam Rivers, McIntyre transcended bop and strove to unearth the ultimate potential of non-chord-based sound, and like many of his AACM peers revealed a strong vision in his music that was heavily keyed into the free-thinking and spiritual mode that was dominating the era.

DEAD C Language Recordings 1 & 2 (Language)
Four years in the making, the New Zealand trio of Robbie Yeats, Bruce Russell and Michael Morley still turn on the juice in their practice room and make some of the most alien rock music imaginable. Twin guitars see-saw between Morley's Venusian blues & drone and Russell's sputtering old amp and ring modulator, while Yeats drums with the arrhythmic thunk of someone playing those Whack-a-Mole booths at the fair. Yet, with all the chaos, the Dead C coalesce into a major SOUND, when they lock in on the 33 minute "Speeder Bot" it wipes down all the post-rock stuff the WIRE yaps about (in fact, even the glitching laptop generation is in total awe of what the Dead C is doing with the guitar/bass/drum setup). A 2CD set worthy of your cash.

STINA NORDENSTAM People Are Strange (East West Germany)
Jeez, this is on every time you turn on the radio this month, but it's quite amazing. This gets a lot of comparisons to Cat Power's "Covers Record", but Scandinavian beauty Stina's approach makes this quite different indeed. Fully realized studio arrangements and highbrow production meshes quite oddly with a lo-fi, often 'luded-sounding vocal backdrop (foredrop) but in a great way. Several songs are quite identifiable (Rod Stewart's "Sailing", Prince's "Purple Rain") from first listen, but a few are extremely loose interpretations.

IN/HUMANITY Violent Resignation/Great American Teenage Suicide Rebellion (Prank)
HATEWAVE Hatewave (Tumult)
A trio of East Coast vs. West Coast vs. Midwest pure hatefests record to coincide with the re-release of the Exorcist. In/Humanity (from South Carolina) split up in 98, but left behind a totally brutal legacy of ultra-hardcore, suicide-encouraging, satan-embracing spew that was pure and nutzoid. 42 tracks including a cover of the legendary Screamers. Cattle Decap are a San Diego Locust-related outfit who thrash with an extremely bad attitude with a very unhealthy fixation on meat, discharge, and vividly describing medical functions; while Hatewave is a new reissue of a 97 LP featuring Flying Luttenbacher/To Live and Shave in LA-er Weasel Walter on drums, an amazing trio in total overdrive grind-gobblydygook mode with some jawdropping lyrics. Three to clear the parties...

VARIOUS Calypso Awakening (Smithsonian)
Lord Melody and Mighty Sparrow dominate this collection (that also includes others) of amazing Trinidadian recordings made by audio engineer Emory Cook between 1956 and 1962. Calypso was in its post-war infancy, and Cook, who had made giant strides in recording technology (both in recording techniques and vinyl pressing) did true field recordings, lugging gear out into remote locales to hear musical interaction in their true element. Great sounding steel bands, vocal workouts and more.

VARIOUS Killed By Absurdity Volume 1 (Failed Pilot)
Well, of course anything citing inspiration from Dion McGregor's sleeptalking record, Celebrities at Their Worst, and the bizarro 1977 LP "You Think You Really Know Me" by Gary Wilson, is going to get WFMU attention. But methinks this collection of "found" absurd songs was recorded on purpose somewhere by hepsters who know better. Regardless, the casio-samba reciting Mexican food names, the a capella choir doing Toto's "Africa" and the nails-on-chalk audio loveletter by some dweeb is sure to entice the staff to challenge the listeners' "How Much Can You Take" meters.

MUSTAFIO Mustafio (Mustafio)
An hour of a man inexplicably speaking like Bela Lagosi. No more information available or sent along.

PRAM Museum of Imaginary Animals (Merge)
What an amazing record, as fascinating as watching a gigantic aquarium bubbling away. Like me, Pram love all things underwater and aquatic, and I could imagine no better cassette to have strapped into my waterproof walkman on a diving expedition. Singer Rosie's swooping, gorgeous voice swims along the lovely off-kilter melodies Pram offers, sometimes sounding like Martin Denny conducting an aquatic toy orchestra, other times like a woozier version of Laika. If "Bewitched" was a single it would be the tops of the year hands down.

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