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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
June 2003

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

MU / Afro Finger and Gel (Tigersushi)
Whoa, total crazed electronic weird pop out of nowhere, I smell much fame and fortune for Mustumi Kanamori, the woman who IS Mu along with Maurice Fulton. Imagine cold but animated synthpunk blats and beats via "Nag Nag Nag"-era Cabaret Voltaire, dark electropunk weirdness ala Subterranean 80s, dub chamber references of the likes of 23 Skidoo and even then you get the odd curveball (like some Afro-Samba detours). James Murphy of DFA/LCD Sound System is already gaga, he even featured Mu's "Chair Girl" on his recent mix compilation. I tend to believe the cute Japanese vox are going to win this a lot more fans easier than without, but it's just so fun and twisted that it adds to the well known (around here especially) formula. In this overrun-with-electroclashcityrockers world we live in this definitely dips into the well of style and substance in a nicely rounded and forward-thinking way.

SIMPLY SAUCER / Cyborgs Revisited (Sonic Unyon)
Cargo reissued a CD back in the 90's, now out of print, but here it resurfaces again. This is one of my alltime fave mutant-rock records ever: total Velvets-meets sci-fi electronic gush songs about cyborgs, the future gone bad and even more bizarre stuff, from early 1970's Hamilton, Ontario (steel mill town central) nonetheless. I made a copy of this disc for Jay from Sloan years ago and he flipped out at the thought of having lived in the same country as such a freaking insane band that he'd never even known about, and if you've never heard 'em, you gotta grab this now. Indeed, unlike other 70s cult bands, SS probably made their mark on absolutely no one else, though one hears Chrome, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett, Detroit monster rock and a lot more, with White Light-style guitar explosions, wheezing analog synth flurries, extended freakouts in what leader Edger Brau called "heavy metaloid" stylings. The late 70's got a bit more new-wavey and less primitive for the band, but this latest reissue tags on some welcome demos and live stuff from that period. Totally primo. If you own Rocket From the Tombs' new reissue, Stooges, Can, Velvets, or anything of that ilk you will *NOT* be disappointed.

FLAMING FIRE / Songs From the Shining Temple (Perhaps Transparent)
NYC concertgoers have been lucky enough to have the chance to witness the live spectacle of Brooklyn's FF for the last few years and they're a hard image to forget: cloaked in red togas they turn the stage into a scene out of a Greco-Roman ritual or bizarro Kenneth Anger flick. Despite the weird pagan vibe, it's not as foreboding as you would think; there's pounding rhythms, chanting, noisy electronics, but there's also a great playful air about Flaming Fire and extremely catchy and hummable guy/gal interplay between Patrick Hambrecht, his missus Kate, and third vocalist Lauren Weinstein. The songs are completely inventive, fun 'n dark, as if Beelzebub was about to take over, but decided to sit in and play the moog for a while. Damn, I would even kinda say FF are sometimes a cross between Psychic TV and Haysi Fantaysee (that's not an insult, honest). Great layers and textures, total theatrics both visually and musically, and it all carries onto their records (this is the second) wonderfully.

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