Monday, February 02, 2004

New Releases For The Week of 01/27/04

So, here's the deal. Only three weeks into doing it and I hit a snag on my attempt to deliver a "New Releases" rundown for every week. Apperantly, the new releases printed on Ice Magazine for the week of 01/27/04 were actually the releases for the week of 02/03/04 - so I did this week last week. This will, of course, only add to the confusion - but because I missed it I'm going to do last week this week. Make sense? I really want this thing not to suck, people, I'm tryin' my damndest...

As always, these lists are courtesy of the people at the aforementioned Ice Magazine. I don't spotlight everything, just the stuff that either looks good, interesting, or funny. U-Decide which is which!

A. SKILLZ & KRAFTY KUTS Tricka Technology (Finger Lickin’)

I thought on first glance this was some sort of odd rap album - then I saw the label. FInger Lickin' is one of the very best breaks labels in the UK - home to Lee Coombs and the Plump DJ's, among others. Good stuff, and this sounds like it also might be good. From their review:

"With their influences ranging from Kraftwerk to James Brown, The Commodores to De La Soul, the album promises to be a nu-skool Hip Hop adventure. Enlisting the talents of some of the world’s best hip hop and funk artists, Tricka Technology just oozes a party-rockin’ vibe. Droop Capone, Ashley Slater (Freak Power), Real Elements, Kurtis Blow, TC Izlam (son of Afrika Bambattaa) and Dr. Luke have all collaborated here with the result being a release full of Hip Hop beats, party tunes, deck tricks and spontaneous skits."

Sounds good to me.

AIR Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks)

Already discussed this one. Go here if you missed it the first few times.

THAVIUS BECK Decomposition (Mush)

Got this in the mail the other day, still haven't found time to pop it in and listen to it. However - if its anything like all the other great stuff we've been getting from Mush lately, it should be great. (Mush records is an odd little company that seems to have sprung up out of nowhere in the last year or so, specializing in indie hip-hop, post-rock and IDM type stuff - usually all at the same time.)

JOHN BERRY I Give My Heart (Clear Sky)

I gave my kidney.

BONE CRUSHER Fight Music (Arista)

Don't know if this is actually coming out or not - be skeptical. But apperantly Bone Crusher is something of a tyro - his debut album Attenchun was pilloried and he was also apperantly sued by the people who claim to have written his one hit, "Never Scared". So, whether it comes out or not, proceed at your own risk...

J.C. CHASEZ (of *NSYNC) Schizophrenic (Jive)

Call me nuts but I am interested by this. J.C. seems to want very badly the kind of acclaim and respectibility Justin Timberlake has acquired... the fact that he sang on the Basement Jaxx's excellent Kish Kash makes me think that maybe his heart is in the right place. His first solo single had Dirt McGirt (AKA the still awesome Old Dirty Bastard) on it, for Pete's sake. I am all for good music, whoever wants to make it.

SANDRA COLLINS Perfecto Presents (two CDs) (Perfecto/Thrive)

Grrr. The gender gap in the world of professional DJs is a horrible, horrible thing... and it does not help matters that one of the most visible - if not the most visible - female DJs in the world is, from all signs, just not very good. Of course, rumors are rumors, but the kind of rumors that follow Sandra Collins make you think she must have pissed off a whole lot of people at some point... to hear the gossip mills its a rare gig she actually shows up for sober.

Of course, it doesn't help that she tries to get by on her looks. I mean, lets face it, dance music is a male dominated industry, of course it makes sence to try and gussy yourself up for the boys - but that doesn't make it any better or any less desperate. Especially when she's obviously much older than advertised - whatever happening to aging gracefully? Its people like her who help contribute to the atmosphere inside the industry that makes my wife think she's gotta be some skinny size 3 bimbo with no top on to get gigs, regardless of what she plays and how well she plays it. Ah, the music industry.

LARRY CORDLE AND LONESOME STANDARD TIME Lonesome Skynyrd Time: A Bluegrass Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd (CMH)

Yeah, I'll buy this right after I get that full frontal lobotomy.

DJ CAM AND TASSEL & NATUREL Fillet of Soul (Inflamable)

DJ Cam was someone who never realy seemed to cross our radar screens. If you like the downtempo stuff, this might be for you... it might not.

DJ VENOM Straight Bangin 3 (Topaz)

Just in case you don't know anything about electronic music - this is the official bottom of the barrel. Hard music for hardheads, banging shit house for people on methamphetamines to hit each other with. Seriously, everytime I hear this kind of hard house, I think of all the drug dealers who listen to and play it. Really, if you're not on some seriously mind-bending drugs, its offensive white noise.

ELBOW Cast of Thousands (V2)

I seem to be quite bitchy this week, don't I? Weird.

Well, here's Elbow. Their innoccuous.

DARREN EMERSON & MUTINY Underwater: Episode 2 (Underwater)

Hmmm. Here's Darren Emerson, formerly of the epochal dance act Underworld, continuing his life-long pursuit of cashing in on his former band's name. From what I saw of the track listing, seems like this is a bit more on the tech-house, or breaks-house side of the spectrum. Couldn't be worse than that proggy house crap he was spinning right after he left Underworld in 2000.

FANTÔMAS Delirium Cordia (Ipecac)

OK, anything that could possibly be described as 'Mr. Bungle-esque', with the exception of John Zorn's 'Naked City' album, is way too messed up for me. Sorry, I prefer my cerebral cortex unmolested .

GEORGE FOREMAN Inspirations (two CDs) (Trauma)

Um, what? Is this a two-CD set about how great it is to be George Foreman? I'd buy that. I'm a dedicated user of his 'lean mean fat grilling machine' or whatever - I use it for hamburgers and steaks and it rokks tha house. If this were a two CD set singing the praises of that machine, I'd buy it - well, I probably wouldn't but it would be cool, wouldn't it?

GALACTIC ZOO DOSSIER Compendium (book w/CD) (Drag City)

Only if its got the Kryptonian thought-beast in it.

THE GET UP KIDS The Get Up Kids (EP) (Vagrant)

I know these people hate being called "Emo". Well, here's an idea: maybe they should stop making Emo?

THE GO The Go (Lizard King)

The mental image of Jim Morrison in all his near-death, bearded, penis-waving and drunken glory does not make me want to investigate this one further...

GOREROTTED Only Tools and Corpses (Metal Blade)

Can this possibly be as cool as Gorelord's "Force Fed On Human Flesh"?

No? Oh, OK then.

J MAJIK Fabric Live 13 (Fabric)

Wait a minute - since when have the Fabriclive mix CD's been released in the US? They've been import-only for as long as I remember. Good series, though.

LIL’ C-STYLE Blacc Balled (Rumm)

Any relation to Mr. C the Cha Cha Man? There's a classic right there.

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO In Dub (R.U.O.K.? remixed) (:\ run)

Another album I discussed last week. It rokks, basically... if you're a fan of old-skool MBM or just a fan of dub-influenced breakbeat stuff, this is the labum for you.

THE NOTWIST Different Cars and Trains (EP) (Domino)

I think we have some Notwist around here somewhere... either on a CD-R or something, I don't recall. Wish I could elucidate you more, I can't really, except to say they seem to get the critics excited.

THE OPUS Breathing Lessons (Mush)

Another Mush release. Always reccomended.

RBX Ripp tha Game Bloody (Street Muzic) (Rumm)

Doood. Back in tha day... I remember listening to old skool Death Row (Dre & Snoop, basically) and RBX was one of the better posse member who were hanging around the Death Row studios at the time. Unfortunately, like just about everyone else at the Row, RBX just never seemed to find the right solo vehicle after early successes with cameos on other people's records. Sure, Snoop launched himself from "The Chronic" and became a cultural icon, but you don't see The Lady of Rage or the DOC with their own action figures, now do you?

REMEMBERING NEVER Women and Children Die First (Ferret)

This sounds like my kind of party!

DANI SICILIANO Dani Siciliano Likes (¡K7)

This album is great. You must go buy this album - that is my sincerest wish. If you've ever heard Matthew Herbert, you've heard Dani Siciliano - they just happen to be husband and wife, in addition to being frequent collaborators. You will like it. Maybe I'll write more on it later on in the week, because we just got it a few days ago - but its good. Trust me, please.

STARSAILOR Silence Is Easy (Capitol)

Yet another passable but unexceptional British group who are never going to sell more than 50,000 albums in the US.

STEREOLAB Margarine Eclipse (ICE #202) (Elektra)

OK, on the one hand, this album is supposed to sound almost identical to all the other Stereolab albums you've ever heard. On the other hand, they just lost keyboardist/vocalist Mary Hansen in a car wreck, so I'd say that's a damn fine achievement.

TELEFON TEL AVIV Map of What Is Effortless (Hefty)

This is also very good. I don't know if its quite the "album of the year" that some are hyping, but its still quite good.

TRIO ELÉCTRICO Echo Porcours (Stereo Deluxe)

Stereo Deluxe is another great label, one of those labels who stuff always seems to impress. Have no clue who these folks are, but if their on SD that makes me want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

VOODOO CHILD (a.k.a. Moby) Baby Monkey (V2)

As has been previously discussed, this is a very, very good album. However, did you know that the Blogosphere's own Alan David Doane is a Moby fan too? You learn something new every day - and despite what some philistines may say, Moby is definitely still on the cutting edge of cool even after all these years.

WEIRD WAR If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Bite ’Em (Drag City)

That's a bizarre enough statement that I can't disagree.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS Do You Know (Music World)

Poor Michelle Williams. As a part of Destiny's Child who is not Beyonce, she'll probably never get the attention her more flamboyant leader gets every day. She'll just have to console herself with her critically-acclaimed and very quietly released solo gospel records. Its not what you'd expect from a major music star, and I can certainly respect her for it - certainly a lot more than I ever respected Beyonce.

VA City of God Remixed, Volume II (:\ run)

I don't know anything about this, and Amazon tells me nothing - but it sounds interesting. I want to know who did the remixes.

VA Committed 2 Rock (w/Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World) (Time Life)

Hmmm. Looking at this album on Amazon I can't tell if there was any rhyme or reason to why they picked these particular people for this particular album - ie, I can't tell why this exists, other than to spotlight some "positive" rock messages. I'm going to assume without seeing a tracklisting that the Fatboy Slim and Moby tracks are NOT new.

VA Fired Up! (Razor & Tie)

Oh, this old thing. This has been advertised on TV for ages, I guess they figured they'd sold as many copies as they were going to with the TV ad markup. Its basically an overview of the biggest, most overplayed cheese in the recent history of dance music - well, except for maybe a couple tracks. Hell, lets do this the old fashioned way - I'll spotlight the cheese for you!

1. This Is Your Night - Amber
2. Around The World (La Da Da) - ATC
3. Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here - Deborah Cox
4. The Bomb!(These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) - The Bucketheads
5. If You Could Read My Mind - Stars On 54
6. Don’t Call Me Baby - Madison Avenue
7. Kernkraft 400 - Zombie Nation
8. Do You Miss Me - Jocelyn Enriquez
9. Free - Ultra Nate
10. In A Dream - Rockell
11. I Turn To You - Melanie C.
12. I Wanna B With U - Fun Factory
13. Insomnia - Faithless
(It would get extra points if this were the Armand Van Helden remix, but I sincerely doubt it is.)

14. The Child (Inside) - Qkumba Zoo
15. Kiss The Rain - Billie Meyers
16. Barbie Girl - Aqua

1. Better Off Alone - Alice DeeJay
2. Fired Up - Funky Green Dogs
3. C’mon Ride The Train - Quad City DJ's
4. Your Loving Arms - Billy Ray Martin
5. Ooh Ah…Just A Little Bit - Gina G
6. Feel It - The Tamperer
7. Call Me - Le Click
8. Blue ( Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel 65
9. You’re Not Alone - Olive
10. Feels So Good - Sonique
11. Stayin Alive - N-Trance
12. Groove Armada - I See You Baby
(It doesn't say so here but they have the Fatboy Slim mix of this track - which is smart, because the original is just nowhere not as good - plus its the version everyone knows from the video.)

13. Ready To Go - Republica
14. One More Try - Kristine W
15. Missing - Everything But The Girl
16. Crush - Jellyhead

So - four tracks out of 32, a whopping one-eighth of the set, is non-cheese. I feel bad whenever I see sets liek this because I know there are people who think stuff like Eiffel 65 is the height of electronic dance music... makes you not want to get out of bed, you know?

VA A Tribute to John Mayer, R. Kelly and Michael W. Smith (Tribute Sounds)

I just can't see any tribute to R. Kelly that doesn't involve mention of him peeing on underage girls or the fact that he actually recorded a song called "I Like The Crotch On You". And I don't know which is worse, honestly.

DVD Australian Made (w/INXS) (Cleopatra)

Ah, Australia. Any nation that can elevate hardcore leftist rockers Midnight Oil to the heights of fame is OK in my book.

DVD Wholistic Living for the Hip Hop Generation (health advice from Erykah Badu, Common, dead prez and others) (Raptivism)

For some odd reason I feel the urge to eat a granola bar and wear a backpack.

DVD CHRISTINA AGUILERA Stripped... Live in the U.K. (RCA)

Poor X-Tina. Whatever you do, you will never be able to catch Britney in the popular imagination. Its a shame - I actually thought her last few singles were pretty decent (especially the mondo-bizarre 'Dirrty', which sounded like Timbaland remixing Autechre). Too bad, she's probably going to kill herself trying to catch up with that dimwit.

Wait, I should probably apologize to dimwits across the world - I'm sorry I compared you to Britney Spears.

DVD C-MURDER Straight from the Projects: Rappers That Live the Lyrics (Image Entertainment)

He "lived the lyrics" all the way to the pokey, yo.

DVD DJ TIËSTO Tiësto in Concert (two DVD set) (Black Hole)

Oh boy. This, Sandra Collins, DJ Venom and Darren Emerson all on the same day - have we been exceptionally bad?

DVD PAUL OAKENFOLD A Voyage Into Trance (Hypnotic)

Oh, I spoke too soon. This, I think, qualifies as an actual Biblical plague.


For those of you who still care abou Sting since he lost his nuts, and for all five of you who have a DVD Audio player - this one's for you.

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