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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
December 2004

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

THE SOFT PINK TRUTH/ Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth (Tigerbeat 6)
SPT for a few years has been an outlet for the sweatier boot-ay-shush leanings of Mr. Drew Daniel, one half of hidden sound purveyors Matmos, and this time a fine back catalogue of hardcore punk as well as art-punk covers from the US and UK get the electro rock treatment. And what great ones they are: Die Kreuzen's "In School", Minor Threat's "Out of Step" and Nervous Gender (great LA goth-synth-punk band who had a little kid playing drums) get the frazzled dancefloor treatment. Various guests including Blevin Blectum and Dani Siciliano take part, and huge thumbs up on Vicki Bennett's cold mistress reading of Crass' "Do They Owe Us a Living?" Of course they fucking do!

ARANOS / Tangomango (Pieros)
"Kachetic Japanese girl in snowy swimming pools/Where the Blue Field hover and voiceless torrents dream/Thousand insects cooling sea/Slowly Deer draws thought/Ice butterfly sneezed/Sea that life exposed." Hardly the lyrical content you could expect from your average Gypsy violinist, but Aranos is cut from quite an unusual cloth. This Bohemia-born multi-instrumentalist has performed with assorted folk ensembles and jazz groups since age 8, and in recent years fell in with both Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, experiences which have obviously allowed stranger and definitely electroacoustic tinged elements filter into his solo output. Tangomango reads with a minimal approach, mainly voice and violin and as the title suggests is completely soulful and danceable, but as the album moves forward, "Broken Eights" appears like a totally fractured vocal piece ala Swedish experimentalist Ake Hodell while still swinging like a Paolo Conte piece. Comes packaged in a silky sack as well.

VARIOUS / Niacin Sun (Tedium House)
It's a sad, sad thing that this issue of Seymour Glass' Bananafish is going to be the last ever. Since the late 80's, this thing has been a veritable bible of eccentric sounds written in a singularly unique (and confusion-inducing) voice. While you tried to decode the found letters, oblique prose and reviews, the mag put music like the Sun City Girls, Thinking Fellers, Boredoms, Dead C et all into the spotlight miles ahead of the pack, all celebrating the destruction and deconstruction of music and zine culture, it has truly been one of the only reads that takes its matter seriously while avoiding the rock-criticism pitfalls of self-importance. Some of the back issues have been bound into books, you need them in your life. In the meantime, this final issue appears with another CD sampler of freeform weirdness. Burning Star Core drones, Monotract squelches, there's a lo-fi symphonic piece from Nelson Gastaldi, and very disturbing found cassettes from experimental sound artist Joe Colley where clearly a woman is exasperated trying to get her husband to put his pants on, breaking down and sobbing into the tape recorder at the end of it all. It's these private sounds that Bananafish has inserted into your cranium to be yours to have and interpret. We'll miss it terribly.

TIME FLYS / Energy (Birdman)
Totally raw, pounding punk rock for those needing a good dose of Heartbreakers and Crime. Unlike some of the more cosmetic-obsessed elements of the Dolls-aping scene these days, these guys from the Bay Area (with the Cuts' guitarist) go right for the jugular and don't mess around. I hear 10 CD's a day with the guitar/bass/drum punk aesthetic and lately it's taken a lot to turn my head in this format, I have to say. I don't know what else to say. They're a quartet, maybe Little Steven will like them, I dunno. There's two singles, I am sure the album will kill.

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