In mid-October, we at Luxury Wafers closed our former studio hub, Chessvolt Studios. It was a case of eminent domain: our local government opted to build an elementary school at that site and we didn’t have a choice in the matter. So, reluctantly, sadly, we packed up and said goodbye. The effects have been immense in all directions, but ultimately positive. We’ve been making a bunch of new friends and exciting new partnerships. Along the road, a few items fell through the cracks, including some important record reviews. Luckily, recent travel time presented the perfect opportunity to pop in some cds and listen all the way. I made a deal with myself to listen to everything and I successfully kept the deal. Whew. I couldn’t help but marvel at the array which emerged, one cd after another, from my overstuffed Trader Joe’s bag.
Here are the Top Two most notable CDs from the pack:
Chll Pll from Sac chose a sleek cd package – 6 glossy panels with a multi-page, full-color insert – that emits the vibe of anyday electronica + a hefty budget. In fact, it’s entirely edge-of-your-seat, creative num num from of experimental electronica with a posi vibe from 3 well-known Zachs (Hill from Hella & WAVVES, Nelson from Hexlove and Dellorto of Danava). The collection starts off strong with Dick Moves and continues to grab you in the face. There’s variance from song to song, so, naturally, depending on your mood, some songs will attract more than others. Pass Out stands on a throbbing bass, coming on like a busy niteclub with lots of noise and an excellent hook of a melody sweetly sung amidst the party frenzy. To me, the casing betrays the bedroom-recorded sound – as though only one or a couple of mics were used with an extra on other side of the room to capture monster drums sounds. Although they’re all pro, it might appeal as thoughs the guys don’t necessarily know what theyre doing — and that’s exactly what gives Agressively Humble its raw freshness.
The album enraptures, hence the brief track rundown. You gotta get the cd and listen to the whole thing. (1) Dick Moves begins with the hookingest lead-in dialogue ever: “I’ve never experienced a man like you.” “That’s because I’m not a man, I’m a ..…..(synthesizer)”. And at the end, autotune synth sounds like talking through a pvc pipe covered with a skin of latex (we’ve all tried that, right?!). (2) She Owns opens with what sounds like a chorus of barking dogs singing christmas carols. Unbelievably rad. A bit of hollow 50′s simplicity marches through.(3) Tales From the Crypt – Graveyard zombies howling in a tunnel. (4) Pass Out - Throbbing bass, busy nightclub party frenzy, sweek melody. (5) Superzodiac totally has an awesome name. It’s spacy and entertaining with fun choruses. (6) Hello Woman Hello Man – Big positive swell. (7) Now Then and When jumps from near silence to an ambient wall of shimmering cymbal crashing noise. It’s final word – Peace. (8) Hold This Hand of Rowdy Light feels like juicy fruit exploding on a hot summer day, swallows aloft and trees green and yellow. Somehow they insert a moderately disturbing, recurring line, “rub me down with chicken blood” while keeping the overall vibe. (9) Aggressively Humble. (10) Chll Pll thrashes outright with an Apocalypse Now middle – water crashing, jets roaring through the sky – then simply fades away rather than exiting emphatically.
****2. Sugarland (10/27/09, Rare Book Room), by Talk Normal. The experimental punk girl duo (Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro, who became Talk Normal in 2007) from Brooklyn, gives us a smashing full-length debut. Fury, desire, noise, pounding rhythm. Loosely reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s wild intensity when they were known to be furiously hard and cutting edge. Talk Normal has found their own new edge to cut. It pulsates darkly, combining tribal, nature-like references with Lost In Space.
More Talk Normal HERE.