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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
August 2002

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

VARIOUS / OU REVIEW (Alga Marghen)
A truly definitive document of sound poetry in the 20th century, this 4CD set is compiled from various magazine/LP issues put out by corporeal soundmaker Henri Chopin in the 1960's and 1970's, and is pretty mindblowing. William Burroughs, Bob Cobbing, Brion Gysin, Raoul Hausmann (whose dadaisms date back to the very early 20th century), Ake Hodell, Sten Hanson and others present revolutionary sounds complemented by concrete, abstract mix, pure electronics, and other manipulations in a vast array of human expression. Unfortunately, we haven't seen the accompanying 70 page book that comes with this Alga Marghen issue, but word has it that it too is pretty stunning.

HASIL ADKINS / Out To Hunch (Norton)
A lot of FMU listeners know about this record but it needs to be mentioned again, as it's now out on CD with extra tracks, and it came out so long ago (Norton's first ever release.) This thing scared the hell out of my the first time I ever heard it back in the 1980's. It was on a mix tape I was given, and outta nowhere this crazed backwoods being from the 1950's is ultra-distorted in the microphone, seemingly pounding away on a metal tub, screeching at the top of his lungs about how "we got a date", adding that "I'm gonna cut your head off. Yeeehahahahaha!" I later found out that it was indeed Hasil Adkins, a real rockabilly relic from the mountains of Virginny, and that severed heads and need for meat (especially chicken) were recurring themes in his music. Hasil, for all the mythology around him, has indeed proved himself time and time again to be THE REAL DEAL, and the stories connected with his resurgence are worth the price of the CD alone. We thank Billy and Miriam of Norton for guiding the Haze down the road ever so tastefully and helping people discover this insanely great record through the years.

MURCOF / Martes (Leaf)
Deep, lush electronic soundscapes courtesy of Fernando Corona, a Mexican artist who has been a member of the Nortec Collective (which has fused Mexican popular sounds with electronic music), a remixer for Kronos Quartet and compuser of film and video game sounds. As Murcof, Corona explores his realm with great homage to classical and mininalist influences in his life; Arvo Part meets Autechre, perhaps, but excellent stuff.

VARIOUS / Radon Studios (Radon)
While the terms "psychedelic" and "industrial" tend to draw pretty distinct images, Portland-based Radon Studios has put a very unique slant on both. Relatively new, with press runs small (just because of the label's size, not to create a stir within hipster caches), this sampler is a great snapshot of the state of things at the label today. From the creaking industrial weirdness of Koonda Holaa and the Beetchees, to the ethnic drones of Sikhara, the Evol-inspired clang and beauty of Italian composer Daniel Brusaschetto, to the sublime sound blanket of (R), to noisy explorations by Steve Mackay (former saxophonist on the Stooges' Fun House), Radon is a label that has really yet to disappoint.

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