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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
January 2005

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

GALENTO / Golfstarblue (Dreamboat)
PUGH ROGEFELDT/ Ja, Da A Da! (Metronome/Warner Sweden)
Golfstarblue is a strange disc that seems to have come out in 2003 but just arrived here at WFMU from Sweden. Obvious golf references abound here besides the title ("Clubfoot", "Little Tiger Wood", "Putt"), and I have to take an educated guess that the drifty passages of spoken narration in Swedish too are dealing with golf. The music is wonderful; a combination of hazy, Badalamenti-meets-Residents soundscapes littered with both atmosphere and surrealism, quirky electronics that come out warped but not too cutesy accompanied by piano, sax, and percussion. There's also a very nice blanket of traditional Scandinavian folk flair, fitting the scenario in a quite comfortable manner. Wish I could find more about this on the web, but info seems to be at a minumum.
Pugh Rogefeldt's 1969 record, Ja Da A Da, is another expressive slice of trad Swedish sound filtered through another beast entirely. I've loved this disc for some years now, and this nicely packaged reissue is a must for anyone that's soaked in the more cosmic output of Trad Gras Och Stenar and Parson Sound, but not sure where to take the plunge into more 60s/70s rock/proggish sounds. I agree with others who say this is where the recently-touted Swede rock band Dungen draw some distinct influence from (and apparently DJ Shadow has sampled this thing), though I wasn't a huge Dungen fan but adore this. Gentle folkadelic passages give way to heavy, fuzz drenched excursion, and there's a great adaptation of Brecht's "Surabaya Johnny".

KONONO NO.1 / Lubuaku (Terp)
Hailing from the Congo, this group's recordings have been much anticipated after some high praise from Holland's Ex (who toured with Konono, covered them recently, and put out this disc). Konono No. 1 have been around for 25 years, playing socially conscious music based on Bazombe tradition (a tribe on the Angola/Congo border) that has filtered some of its style into modern Congolese sound. Their approach, however, is unique; electric instruments hand built and hot-wired through various means (including car batteries!), home-made mics handwired with copper, makeshift amps and a powerful, distorted likembe (thumb piano) that guides the percussion and melodies along with total raw power. That alone plus repeated riffs and high energy on stage turn their songs into mantras of intensity and abandon that fans of Can (and the Ex) would surely groove on.

GENGHIS TRON / Cloak of Love (Crucial Blast)
I tend to view most press notes as purple prose, but then this came in from the usually-excellent Crucial Blast label namedropping Brutal Truth and Erasure on the sleeve. I knew this was gonna be good. Plus it was engineered by Colin Marston, whom I knew from the equally schizoid metal-prog-whatziz outfit Infidel?/Castro! And sure enough, track one came ripping in with total Zorn/Naked City over-the-top, million-notes-a-minute fury only to cut away midsong to this bopping electroid melody line sounding suspiciously like Depeche Mode's "I Just Can't Get Enough". Like the grindcore-via-Blue Note Candiria, these guys (a trio from Poughkeepsie) love to segue from extreme to extreme, though the schizophrenia does not serve to show flashy chops and ability to swing from genre to genre for its own sake. Rather, the band preserves a sinister mood, a strong ability to string catchy musical phrases over varied terrain and total mayhem at its sonic disposal. There's a song called "Laser Bitch" as well (full of Peter Hook basslines and synthed out vox that dive right into shredding insanity)!

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