Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Phil Western - "Laborandum" CD

Veteran electronic composer Western has quietly amassed an extensive, widely-varied, and highly collectible catalog of solo work outside of his better-known work with cEvin Key as Download and Plateau. "Laborandum" amicably sums up his solo work (both under his own name and as Kone) into a cohesive 54-minute set. 

Opening with the elegantly lush urban techno of "303", Western's combination of Detroit-style grooves, mellow West-coast psychedelia, and a post-industrial sense of sound manipulation come together splendidly on cuts like "Ke Bop Bop". "I Roll The Nickels" deftly uses samples of Charlie Manson alongside otherworldly electronic blips and beats. "Angels", the exclusive track here, is a dark slice of hallucinogenic electronica that reminds of classic Severed Heads with a modern ambient twist. The remaining tracks don't falter, either, and although "Laborandum" could be packed with more music, and plenty of Western's works remain criminally out of print, this is a superb place to sample his skilled sounds and beats. (Rustblade Records)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Black Music Disaster - "Black Music Disaster" CD

New project Black Music Disaster combines the skills of John Coxon (of UK electronic/free jazz group Spring Heel Jack, Jason Pierce (of psychedelic rockers Spiritualized), American out-jazz icon Matthew Shipp, and drummer Steve Noble. 

This debut self-titled album coalesces these players into a single 38-minute mass of improvised noise and jazz freakouts. Beginning with mysterious farfisa organs, "Black Music Disaster" evolves into a stream-of-consciousness psychedelic jazz beast, with screeching guitar weirdness and plenty of rolling drum madness. Don't expect conventional songs, structures, or melodies here, as Black Music Disaster is for more out-there improv/noise tastes. Kudos to the players for capturing such a feral intensity while obviously riffing off one another. (Thirsty Ear)