Thursday, April 21, 2005

the new shiz

since i bothered to post a list of the new cds and records i bought last week, i might as well tell you what i think about them. these are in the same order i posted them last week.

beck gameboy variations -- this is a fun record with songs made out of gameboy sounds. apparently it is only available in two formats: 12" vinyl and itunes download. i like it, but i would've liked it more if it were instrumental. as it is, this is basically four gameboy remixes of tracks from guero.

mf doom/madlib madvillain -- excellent. the beats are tight, and of course mf doom is one hell of an mc. instead of "skits", this record has tracks that are more like sample cutups, talking about what kinds of supervillains mf doom and madlib are, or how music sounds better when you're "on weed" as jon stewart's character would say in half baked.

handsome boy modeling school white people -- wow, i liked their previous record (so how's your girl?) a lot better. there are some tracks on here that are undeniably catchy and i'm not sorry i bought the record, but several other cuts are mediocre at best, and at least one (the one with vocals by some nu-metal guy) is virtually unlistenable: i couldn't get all the way to end of the track last time i listened.

prefuse 73 surrounded by silence -- i've only listened to this twice, maybe three times, because when i'm listening to records i tend to grab the madvillain first. but this is a good record. it has MCs and other vocalists on it (including beans, members of wu-tang, and more), a significant change from the past few prefuse 73 records. i was a little worried that he might succumb to "cex syndrome" (wherein the production grows less interesting when hip-hop vocals are added, presumably so as not to detract too much from the vox... though i admit i haven't heard cex's maryland mansions so maybe he's overcome that), but i think this record stands up pretty well on its own. and the MCs are pretty good.

drop the lime this means forever -- maybe dropthelime has been spending too much time around hearts of darknesses, because this is another one of those electronic records where the producer suddenly feels obligated to sing. that seems to be a trend these days: electronic musicians start singing, perhaps in order to sound more like "real" musicians. i don't know; i tend to be of the opinion that not only are vocals generally not necessary with electronic music, but that more often than not they actually harm the music: i can't tell you how many "industrial" bands i've heard where i liked the song for the first 8-16 bars, until the vox kicked in and were simply awful. but anyway, even with all the sudden singing (maybe i just didn't know dtl's material as well as i thought and he's always been predisposed to crooning?), this is not a bad record. but it's not a great record either. i really like some of the instrumental breakcore material (some of which was plucked from earlier vinyl releases), and the stuff with vocals is at least okay: sounding somewhere between the industrial "elektro" sound (not to be confused with electro) and hearts of darknesses on less drugs.

doormouse stanley yershonowski presents xylophone jism as the ridiculator -- i believe this was originally going to be released on planet-mu, but then doormouse had a falling out with mike p, so it ended up on donna summer's cock rock disco label. it's good. it sounds like contemporary doormouse: a little jazzy, lots of hard breaks, with some hip-hop and lots of silly samples.

end percussions -- i remember when connie, syntax, and i went to bent crayon in october, there was a really cool cd playing that had that jazzy/loungy/'60s-playboy sound with hyper-cutup beats. one track on the cd i recognized, knowing that i had it on some comp, yet unable to put my finger squarely on its identity. well, i do believe this was the cd. the track i recognized is the first track on the cd. and i think the comp in question was the advanced d&d with donna summer premium cd i got when i donated to wfmu.

beck guero -- i'm not half the beck fan that i was, say, a decade ago, but this is a nice little record. it's kind of a return to the style of mellow gold and odelay.

general patton vs the x-ecutioners -- mike patton and turntablists. it's a good combination. scratching, hip-hop beats, and patton singin' and makin' mouth noise. not as abstract as i might've liked, but good.

venetian snares winnipeg is a frozen shithole -- this is being promoted as the hardest vsnares record in a long time, and that's true: lots of gabber and hard breakcore sounds. it is brutal and punishing in a way that only aaron funk can be. of course it's good; that goes without saying. but it doesn't necessarily hold together as an "album" (which could be because the cd version has 9 tracks and 3 of them are remixes).

venetian snares rossz csillag alatt született -- this record is apparently about pigeons. sonically, it's all about the strings (i'm sure they're really synths, but they sound like beautiful strings)... though those vsnares beats are still there. this is possibly the best vsnares album ever. the arrangements are catchy if not moving, and the beats are wonderfully placed to hype up the emotion in when needed and then cut out for the somber moments. top notch. there's one song on here that makes me feel like flying... i would tell you which one but the track titles all look like nonsense or some odd eastern language.