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

KOENJIHYAKKEI Nivraym (Magaibutsu Limited)
This Japanese outfit features Yoshida Tatusya (Ruins/Seikazoku/Musica Transonic and other amazing bands) on drums, and is a full-on tribute to Franco operatic progheads Magma in every way possible without actually doing Magma's music. It's no secret that the Ruins take a thing or two from Magma, but here, a full five piece band goes into flight with wailing soprano vocals, primitive yet complex rhythms that just spiral upwards continually to some mythological mountain where someone is doing something epic, most certainly. FMU DJs are digging this, yet the new 3CD Magma box also in the new bin is going untouched! It seems like the Japanese again beat the French, what's that score now?

VARIOUS Medical Milestones (Hot Air)
A CD compilation of the short-lived run (and expensive to purchase) of medical-related art/electronic 45s on Stock Hausen & Walkman's UK label. If you find a lot of abstract electronic type sounds to be, well, flaulent, then this is the record that will surely re-affirm. Gino Robair's rubbed styrofoam, excerpts from Stahlgren & Ferguson's "Constricted Transverse Colon" (a true music concrete record if one ever existed - rumbling gastric disorders caught on tape for a 1960's medical record) and others get presented in an environ that injects some musical and conceptual enhancement to the otherwise purely-medical sounds. Which is a good thing as it adds some spice to the proceedings. Especially amazing: Janek Schaefer's recordings from a voice-activated tape recorder that was mailed through the British postal system.

WAGON CHRIST Musipal (Ninja Tune)
Another offering from Luke Vibert (aka Plug), whose electronic/pedal steel collab with BJ Cole was a big hit here on the airwaves last year. Here, Vibert paints up another colorfol array of interesting and bouncy-though-slightly dark sounds, laden with samples, cinematic references and good beats. Swinging from acid jazz breaks to bubbly psychedelic rhythms, Musipal is just another example of the great world of sounds this guy can harness in a fresh and inventive way.

DESTROYER Streethawk: A Seduction (Misra)
Destroyer are a group led by Daniel Bejar (who also records as one of the New Pornographers), a songwriter of great interest these days to those souls who look for the quirky, hook-laden pop seemingly left back with the Smiths & Harry Nilsson. Not that Bejar sounds like either, but there are very prominent elements of rich acoustic guitar and twisted lyrics, both direct and puzzling (a kind of bizarre amalgamation of perhaps Pavement paying homage to the Frogs paying homage to David Bowie or something like that). Some folks claim this to be some kind of new glam record, but it's definite more ornate and flowery than that. Totally excellent though.

ZIGGY BATHTUB Freakin' With Ziggy (No Label)
DUMP That Skinny Motherfucker With the High Voice? (Shrimper)
Two great new homages to pop icons in the new bin right now, one private and one a bit more public. Ziggy Bathtub is culled from WFMU's Professor (Mr. Audio Kitchen Wednesday nights 7-8pm)'s astounding found-tape archives: a man, a shower, and a love of David Bowie (and Iggy, who gets a bathtime medley!) Dump, AKA Yo La Tengo's James McNew, sees his excellent Prince tribute cassette from a few years ago get a proper CD issue. Here, James' casio/guitar/4-track approach to the Purple One's music fits like a sequined glove (whoops, wrong guy). In the case of both these discs, the pristine pop sheen that the originals were presented in gets stripped away to a bare-soul core and often becomes a whole new songfeel entirely (I especially love the gorgeous lo-fi casiodrone of "1999" and the Twisted Village-style shred guitars that erupt midway through "Erotic City").

VARIOUS Bosavi (Smithsonian Folkways)
Another ace Smithsonian project of documentation from the southeastern Asia/Pacific realm (I've been pretty glued to all the Indonesian volumes the last 5 years or so that have emerged); this one a 3CD set of amazing sounds from Papua New Guinea, compiled by Steven Feld. Weeping funereal songs and rituals from the 1960s give way to work songs from the 70s and actual modern string band and guitar sounds of the 80s and 90s as Western intstruments and influences began to filter in. It's all centered around the rain-forest culture, and all of the music runs right into the most subconscious areas of the brain. Over 190 minutes worth!

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