Friday, March 12, 2010

DBR Daniel Bernard Roumain - "Woodbox Beats And Balladry" CD

Wholly unique in music, Roumain's experimental violin work traverses across genre boundaries effortlessly. From the opener, "Spaceships Over Haiti", he merges jazz, classical, and electronic sounds together into a sometimes-dizzying, always evocative mix. The second track ("Sonata For Violin and Turntables Part 4") brings in drum & bass rhythms for a modern classical-meets-techno hybrid. "Simone" is more reflective, which gives way to the hype of "Armstrong" -- a busy jam with Roumain's effected violins joined by a full band and some mad scratching. If this sounds like overload, it can be. "Sonata For Violin and Turntables, Part 2" is a trippy psychedelic journey, which contrasts nicely with the stately, lovely tones of the proto-classical "JMDL", which brings little more than piano and violin into the fray. It's a bewildering mix, and proves DBR to be a world-class composer and musical chameleon. Superlative and inventive work. (Thirsty Ear)

DBR website

DBR blog

Sectioned - "Purulent Reality" CD

Hailing from England, this is the debut full-lengther from Sectioned, and their classic death metal roots are all showing here. With an unabashed affinity for old-school Florida-style death/thrash, Sectioned's dual guitar attack brings smoking leads, solos, mighty thumping kick-drums, and growly-vomit vocals. It's a hearty and potent mix, with tracks like "My Love Of Decay" standing out, does the raging "Village Of The Sun". It all ends with the melodic and reflective acoustic intro of "Purulent Reality (Outro)". This interesting bookend is evidence that Sectioned may yet have another side waiting to come out. That said, if death metal by the numbers appeals to you, there's a lot worse out there, and Sectioned know how to make a serious racket. I like this one. (Paragon Records)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Ceremony - A New Order Tribute" 2xCD compilation

Featuring a host of artists who, for the most part, I'm unfamiliar with, this extended-length double-album is a tribute to one of the most influential electronic/pop acts ever, and is dedicated to famous Factory Records founder/New Order manager Tony Wilson. A portion of the proceeds from sales go to the Salford Foundation Trust's Tony Wilson Awards, which benefit the education and nurturing of school-age artists. So you get a good cause, and a good set of tunes! That aside, the moody dance-pop of New Order's classics emerge fresh and re-imagined here, with a selection that balances comfortably between indie rock and club techno (both of which New Order pioneered back in the early 80's). Standouts include Yes But No (consisting of 10-and-13-year old sisters Brianna and Skylar Ward) and their splendid and faithful version of  the resonant "Ceremony", The Dark Romantics' U2-like "Crystal", Christian Webb & Adam Knowles' lovely "Run" (what an amazing song), The Sheaks' dusky Western-shoegaze take on "Ceremony" (Can you tell this is one of my favorite New Order songs?). Other notables include Light Yourself On Fire, who shockingly convert  "Chosen Time" into a growly metal monster, Xoxo's solemn "Every Little Counts", and Win Win Winter's plaintive piano-driven "Regret". And that's not to mention a spoken intro from Peter Hook (of New Order) himself. So, you have some radical reinterpretations, plenty of (true?) faithful covers, and plenty of reverential and respectful tributes. A superb set for any New Order fan, and plenty of solid material for novices just as well. (24 Hour Service Station)


New Order tribute page