Six North member Takumi Seino's side project Priority is a beautiful and enchanting mixture of electronics and fusion... The guitar playing reminds a lot of Pat Metheny or Allan Holdsworth (mostly clean or slightly treated, but also lightly or heavily distorted, obviously with lots of pedalling, fade ins and fade outs, like in fusion's best tradition!) coupled with a beautifully deep fretless bass and an intense and pretty much cymbals-only drumming create a relaxing environment. Samples and layers of soft synthetic sounds help the electronic side create an ethereal and heavenly blend with melodic, meditative and melancholic jazzy vibes, awesome atmospheres and a terrific dreamlike overall experience... A unique album, so intense, so beautiful and so powerful. One of my favorite electronic/fusion records!
Not sure this is actually suitable content for a publication like ours but we'll do an exception because it's a label that usually does different stuff... Not that I dislike it, on the contrary, I dig this stuff a lot personally, but we have made a commitment to our readers to be as true as possible to our initial goal to give exposure to electronic/industrial music and the like... So please, labels out there, take a note and remember we don't review jazz/rock/blues/metal etc... Anyway back to what is important in the end: the music. We hope that readers, the band and the label will excuse if we have used a couple of lines of this space to clarify our goals and guidelines, once again.
So, first off, Moulder and Scully don't have anything to do with this. Brand X is an american combo (I belive they're New Yorkers) with incredibly talented musicians who's been performing a mixture of progressive rock and free-jazz with occasional sprinkles of funk for at least two decades. Almost no vocals (except for guests) these two gifted cats, John Goodsall (guitar) and Percy Jones (bass), supported by a number of likewise hot musicians, basically plays fusion in its maybe truest form. Think Uzeb, Jetro Tall, Earth Wind and Fire, Japan, Gong, Weather Report, Genesis, Pat Metheny and other prog-rock/art/fusion/jazz bands out there...
"The X Files" is a double CD "best of" that collects tracks spanning between 1976 and 1999, including studio out takes, live versions (NYC and Japan Tour), remastered stuff, previously unreleased tracks etc. Special guests include Bayete, Malcom Bruce, Bill Bruford, Mike Clarke, Phil Collins from Genesis (singing through a really crappy mic), John Giblin, Frank Katz, Robin Lumley, Pierre Moerlen (Gong), Morris Pert, Chester Thompson, Danny Wilding and at least a half dozen others.
Considering our audience's tastes not too many will probably run to a store to get this, which is too bad 'cause its a good collection of tracks (both for who simply loves good music and for those crazy about virtuoso, as there is some really dope playing, especially guitar solos and bass fingering...) and according to the band: "this is a much more accurate representation of our work over the past 20 years than anything else that is out there".
These two individuals and their attitude are most likely considered sick and shocking by the so called "normal" sheePeople, or whatever else you enjoy calling your fellow earthlings, but in our world, where true meaning is to be found beyond mere appearance, I still don't know whether these dudes are to be placed in the Marylin Manson category of bands just trying to draw attention through disturbing graphics and images of politico-social provocation or part of those few fine folks who actually find it amusing to shock bourgeoise masses but who try to go beyond superficiality and deliver a message about something real... According to the booklet they get inspired by american trash-tv such as Jerry Springer, Montel, Riki and all that other crap-talk-show garbage, so that would probably credit the latter possibility, I just don't know for sure, and because I hate the all-appearance-no-content acts such as Manson, I am just a little skeptical... Considering that they call their music electro-punk I would think they are the real thing... The images of vivisection laboratory's horrible results, representatives of stupid racial groups and other stuff like that makes me think they really care. Musically their music is infested by samples (a lot of speech samples) taken from a number of different places... If cyber punk is what they like to call it that the word "punk" is there to identify their attitude and heart. Not much punk in the music (except of some fast beats here and there), more like power-ebm with distorted vocals, electronic beats and industrial. Sounds a lot European actually and reminds me of older stuff at times (Cat Rapes Dogs etc) but fortunately they don't play like clones of the good old eighties, they achieved to actually sound like a current band and they sound pretty good too, at least not boring, that's for sure... I am sorry if I have been a little too picky and over-critical about them, I just have these reactions when I am not sure whether I am dealing with genuine feelings or theatrical acts. But they sure are a valid band worth to be checked out.
This is probably Nightbreed's main act, as some staff members are actually part of MD's line up and the band has achieved a quite important status in UK's post-goth-indus underground. For a change we don't have to deal with the same old goth crap that some bands out there keep playing decade after decade without ever changing a bit, "Redemption of the Physical World" is actually different and therefore more interesting and appealing to me... I was very surprised by their "Devil Dance" track, as they've seem to come up with a weird country-industrial-dance mixture I've never met before. Can you picture violins and benjos in an industrial-dance context with gothic attitude and a dark evil approach? The other tracks grew distant from that one (which could be good or bad, according to point of views) but at least they kept the intense peace and the good programming. Vocals are always deep, down-pitched and overly treated (where by overly, I don't necessary mean bad, but just extremely un-naturally...) but the mixture of pumping and bombastic electronics with a wall of guitar really seems to be doing it for me! Headbangers, grufties and techno-freaks can all enjoy it, maybe even open minded party goers could find something intriguing about it. It reminded me of several things from the past and the present, including Krupps, FLA at times. Fast, throbbing, never stopping, powerful, angry, almost violent, continuously changing and never boring. The new Midnight Configuration is working for me! Also distributed by www.quadriviumlabel.com in the US and PHD in the UK.
72, 80, 53, 28: these are the figures; respectively minutes, fragments, tracks and artists. Monia De Laurentis, one of the ever-busy key characters of Italy's underground noise scene has been leading her cool small-print-no-spacing-diy-'zine Itself for years and has now apparently decided to put out a CD compilation and call it after her publication, plus some other unpronounceable words. I don't know any of the bands but in case you do here's the list: The Saboten, Yuko Nexus, Ex Girl, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Aki Onda, Astro, Calculated, Love Furniture Lounge Bears, Gaji, Sakamoto Hiromiti, Thermo, Tipographica, Yoshio Machida, Sawai Kazue, Hadiot, Kangaroo Paw, Matsumoto Tadashi, Thermo, Pugs, Animo Computer, Hoppy Kamiyama, Phnonpenh Model, Kirihito, Aki Onda, Cherry & Co., Kazutoki Umezu, Droptone, Freak from Ocean, Lion Merry. Obviously most of these folks are asian and another thing they all have in common is that they play some crazy-ass freaky noise cut-ups mixing fusion, free-jazz, muzak, no-wave, musique-concrete, avantgarde, experimental, bricolant, exotic and other uncured insanity. If you are into any or all of the above this gotta be right up your alley. Addresses included.