zondag 29 mei 2011

review: Various Artists - Vanity Records / Finest Selection, 1978 to 1981

I am not a fan of bootleg's... I almost never buy them and I never will sell them in my webshop... but here is a record that is an exception. I will still not sell it in my webshop but it deserves to be mentioned. Also this bootleg is for a part justified as all music concerned is very hard to get... if not impossible. Next to that most artists will be very hard to trace down.

What we are dealing with here is a compilation around the well known but obscure Vanity Records label. This Japanese label was active between 1978 and 1981 and released ten albums, some singles, one compilation album and some cassettes and flexi discs. The music released on Vanity Records was experimental, avant-garde, proto elektro/techno among some other noises... often with a typical Japanese twist.

On this LP are twelve tracks by twelve artists. The liner notes are in bad English, but the tracklisting states the origin of all the music. But more imnportant it is a real trip into some excellent minimal and experimental music.

What to think of the track by Dada for example?! A deep scary bass drum is the basis on top of which some Pink Floyd like guitar improvisations are played... mind blowing! Equally good but very much post-punk is the Mad Tea Party piece. A track Joy Division or The Cure could have done when on a trip. A twisted reggae tune is served by RNA Organism and a strange and dark soundscape is delivered by Arbeit.

Then I did not mention yet a Japanse cover of a Joy Division track by Morio Agata, or a piece of Kraftwerk like minimal proto elektro by Normal Brain or the outstanding weird but scary minimal music tune by Tolerance or or or...

If you need more references... well I could name two of my favorite 1980's band to give an idea of what to expect... think Alesia Cosmos and think Ptose... if you dig those bands you will love this compilation.

While the originals are almost impossible find, or if you find a good copy you will need to pay a few hundred euros for it, I advice to pick up a copy of this LP now... or be sorry later...

zondag 8 mei 2011

review: Woud / Bebe Fang

Samling is a small label from Holland and has released up till now five releases. Next to three cd-r's and one tape they also published a book. The second and the latest release are both related to the Dutch band Eklin which I wrote about earlier on this blog.

The latest release is a cd-r by Woud. The cd-r itself comes in a small plastic bag with a fold out poster on A3 format with a nice black and white drawing by the musician himself. Woud is the bassplayer of Eklin and on this debut release he serves the listener three tracks of trippy ambient. Opening track 'Fire' is the most dark track and could be a ambient piece by Burzum... if he was on a happy trip. This as Woud never gets too dark... his ambient structures are more spacey and relax and peaceful instead of dark and mean.

Listening more and more to the disc and to the other two tracks the music goes more and more into a sort of ambient pop or dream pop style. With this music you do not need to take any drugs to start floating... the soft sounds, tranquil vocals and soothing melodies are all you need. And... it is a happy trip for sure!

Released earlier but still available and even more interesting as Woud is Bebe Fang. This is a duo with another Eklin member behind the controls. Bebe Fang is much more ritualistic as Woud, almost becoming some sort of folk music. This debut tape with five tracks feels like an obscure field recording from the heart of old Europe, or Scandinavia.

In away this could have fitted on the great Fonal label as it is freaky and experimental and as said folky in a weird way. The pieces without rhythms are more ambient like... in away as those of Woud but darker and more mysterious. When the rhythms come in the music truly becomes ritualistic and shamanistic. It works the same way into your system as some of the Zola Jesus pieces, but Bebe Fang sounds more authenthic... and again as said more like an obscure field recording as contemporary pop music. Really amazing and mind blowing... it gives me shivers and I love it... highly addictive!

Both releases are very limited... the cd-r of Woud is released only in an edition of 50 copies and the Bebe Fang tape comes in an edition of 100 copies. You can get both releases at the Enfant Terrible webshop here...