traumatic harmony
the pataphysical study of randomized sound
2005: reissues

In no particular order, with commentary for albums I didn't already talk about in my dusted year-end piece.

Gary Higgins - Red Hash

Bill Fay - Time of the Last Persecusion
I was exposed to this album by WPRB's Dan Buskirk. It took a little while for the full force of the record to sink in, but after a few listens I came to realize the genius of the record. Time of the Last Persecution is brilliantly apocalyptic, from the opening chords of "Omega Day" through to the deeply unsettling unresolved dissonance that ends "Let All the Other Teddies Know." Fay's voice is the half-way point between ____ (insert late 60s songwriter whose name I'm forgetting) and Nikki Sudden, and it hides its overwhelming Britishness for all but a few moments in "'Til the Christ Come Back." And despite all the Christ imagery, this is not in any way a remotely Christian album - Christ is more a metaphor for change than a serious messiah. Also of note is Ray Russel's spectacular guitar work, which is clearly on par with anything from his Live at the ICA/Retrospective double album Jim O'Rourke put out a few years back. As I said in the Dusted piece, Fay and Higgins are connected on a subconscious level, not simply because they both experienced rebirths this year, but because they tap into a similar vein of thought and a similar sonic world, albeit through slightly different channels.

v/a - Swinging Mademoiselles

v/a - Yellow Pills: Prefill

Free America reissues (particularly Archie Shepp's Black Gipsy and Steve Lacy's The Gap)
This series is perhaps the best thing to happen to free jazz since last year's Holy Ghost box set, and possibly the best to happen to jazz this side of the Coltrane/Monk live recording that I unfortunately still have yet to listen to. I've listened to probably half the reissues at this point, with the Shepp and Lacy standing out, but only by a small margin. I think the Shepp wins on virtue of the mind-blowingly awesome lineup - Clifford Thornton (whose contribution to the series is solid in and of itself), Dave Burrell, Leroy Jenkins (rocking out on viola), and Sunny Murray, and a few unknowns - and the suprisingly great harmonica work that graces "Epitaph of a Small Winner." The Gap shows Lacy's quintet in fine form, with their usual incredible interplay. Also of note is Alan Silva's badass cello playing on Dave Burrell's After Love. To call this series essential is a serious understatement.

Stereolab - Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
Stereolab's output can be a bit monolithic when viewed from above, with the songs gradually blending together into a single massive, blissed-out groove. And while Oscillons doesn't entirely sidestep that problem, it still provides a great picture of what Stereolab is about.

xex - group:xex
Read here.

v/a - New Thing!
One of many great Soul Jazz releases this year, this one stands out for simply having the guts to put together the so-called "new thing" under a single banner. While I don't necessarily agree with the grouping or all of their choices, it's attempt at creating a grand narrative for this arm of free jazz is noteworthy. Plus, Alice Coltrane's take on "A Love Supreme" is sublime (with excellent contributions from Leroy Jenkins, amongst others), Sun Ra's "Angels and Demons at Play" from the mid-50s proves that he really was supremely ahead of his time (all the other tracks on this comp come from the mid 60s and beyond), and some of the lesser names provide interesting tracks. Unfortunately a lot of the main players are underrepresented (Archie Shepp's track is forgettable, Frank Lowe's is just odd, and folks like Pharoah Sanders and Ornette Coleman aren't even there, probably because of copywrite issues, and Soul Jazz's prejudice towards the groovy and dancy definitely colors the choice of tracks here.

Dungen - Ta Det Lungt
Technically, this came out in 2004, though it got a released domestically in 2005, so I'm counting it as a reissue. Rarely does a band actually live up to the internet hype machine, but Gustav Ejstes and co's third album is the real deal. Sure, it's sound is straight out of the late 1960s, but the group is so convincing that you can't help but enjoy yourself. Also they take themselves just seriously enough for this not to be just a bunch of dudes getting stoned and jamming on Hendrix tunes, but not so seriously that it sounds like what I imagine Cream's reunion concerts sounded like.

v/a - No New York
Sure, it's a Russian import, but it's about fucking time mere mortals could get their hands on this definitive slab of early-80s New Yorkness.

Ennio Morricone - Crime & Dissonance
Check out my review for my thoughts here. 
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Albums/Things of the Moment

Gal Costa - Gal
X - Los Angeles/Wild Gift
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
The Factums - The Sistrum
The Dark Knight
Jay Reatard - Matador 7"s
Sub Pop Singles Club III
Mississippi Records
Byard Lancaster

Radio Waves

lexicon devil
agony shorthand
keeping score at home
something I learned today
deadly tango
her jazz
strange reaction
god and a bottle in me
in case of mishaps
20 jazz funk greats
funky 16 corners
moon sash
mental archipelago
crud crud
just for a day
little hits
everything is fire

Odds and Sods
my old wprb playlists
my reviews on dusted
dusty groove

August 2002 / September 2002 / October 2002 / November 2002 / December 2002 / January 2003 / February 2003 / March 2003 / April 2003 / May 2003 / June 2003 / July 2003 / August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / December 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / September 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / July 2008 /
all posts before december 2004 are old wprb playlists. I wish I could say I've been blogging that long, but that's simply not the truth.

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