- LOCAL TRADITIONAL
- THE REST
asa-chang and junray make a most curious mix of sophisticated experimental easy listening fractured pop. their records are uneven, and it's difficult to play one from front to back. but, i think the highlights, for instance track two on this release, are well worth visiting. to me this is some of the strangest most daring music i know of being made today. dig it.
promise and warning post number nine hundred. i was exploring some contemporary female-fronted pop last night. i listened to a couple different acts, and i thought to myself, maybe 2016 just isn't the year for that kind of thing. then i found myself wishing i was listening to hazel. i hadn't listened to this album in ages and ages. i listened to it so much when it came out in 1995 that i think i wore out the grooves on the cd. then later, i discovered heavier angrier music, and somehow i felt it wasn't ok for me to love pop-punk like this. so i shelved it. and, that's an ok thing to do, i think; it's even a necessary thing to do time and again. certainly i needed to end my obsession with the afghan whigs and pearl jam after elementary school in order to move forward onto greener pastures. but, once in a while, you can pick up an old record like this one, that's now over 20 years old, and think, yep, this one's still got it. that's how come i chose this record for this special post.
i first got put on to the musical movement known as zeuhl by the mighty band eskaton, who's music i now worship, particularly for its blistering bass guitar lines locked into incredibly tight rhythm parts adorned with outlandishly virtuosic female vocal harmonies. zeuhl as a movement was founded by the band magma. magma is a bit too wackadoodle for my tastes. but the group of musicians affiliated with them and inspired by them make extraordinary music. this record is led by bass guitarist bernard paganotti, who played with magma in 1976 and 1977. this band, paga, is essentially the same band as paganotti's earlier post-magma project, known as weidorje, who's sole e.p. is posted elsewhere on this site and is incredible and highly recommended. paga brough vocals into the mix, and commands a more 80s sound. the rhythm section is serious as hell. these zeuhl bassists have really made me reconsider my own bass playing, and it is really inspiring to listen to them. the first track on this record even has a fretless bass solo, which is something that is so outside of my wheelhouse that i find myself shocked to accept that it works well.
this absurd italian band's name translate's to "woodpecker of the well", and their music is every bit as bizarre as their name suggests. this is the third full length lp out of the five released by the grog label that i wanted to post to this site. really bizarre stuff, and has some very high highlights. i am not going to lie, the b side is meandering and loses my interest. but the first three songs are totally stellar and quite unlike anything i've heard before, especially this one, called seppia, which means cuttlefish. cuttlefish are weird. i am gonna go on record and say, even considering the fact that the b side is blah, i have a lot of records that i love through and through that do not have a track quite as amazing as seppia.
this is another italian grog records release. this one has really excellent virtuosic nylon string acoustic guitar playing. it also has lots of flutes. the melodies are nice and minor, and rather melancholic. not all of the songs are stellar, but this one is worth the price of admission alone. i listen to the first thirty seconds of that track, and then start it over again and again. beautiful stuff.
this italian band's name means court of miracles. their playing and song writing is certainly miraculous. the vocals are crazy, and i have read they are a turn off for some, but i really like them. the drumming is awesome. the tunes are all bangers. i would call this record fully rideable, from front to back. it was released on grog records, a label which released only five full length lps in its short existence. so of course, this record being of such high quality as it is, i felt compelled to search out the other four, two more of which i have posted directly to the left of this record on promise and warning. enjoy.
really bad ass french prog, to which i have this awesome blog to credit for turning me on. you'll also find a nice write up of it there. this music is some out there tight as fuck bangin' ass shit.
a friend of mine has accused me of putting albums on this site based on the strength of the album covers. while that is generally not true, and i genuinely do recommend all of the music contained in this site... with this particular record, i must admit, i am indeed posting it largely on the strength of it's cover. also, the band, from france, is called "smells". also, the album, from 1979, is called, '1980: no sex!'. was that their new year's resolution? i was born in 1979. did this band somehow no this, and were they recommending that no humans should have any more sex after this event?
p.s. the music contained herein is not half bad. it is pretty zany, and i think i have not been able to make it through a complete listen front to back just yet. the band features the excellent keyboardist jean-philippe goude, who's excellent records feature elsewhere on this site.