Uncommon music criticized by the common man. (Or, exercises in futility masquerading as critical thought.)

Monday, April 11, 2005


I've made a number of additions to the collection in recent weeks:

High on Fire Blessed Black Wings
Mars Volta Frances The Mute
Orthrelm 2nd18/04 Norildivoth Crallos-Lomrixth Urthiln
Anata Under A Stone With No Inscription
Anaal Nathrakh Domine Non Es Dignus
The Flying Luttenbachers Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder
Meshuggah Chaosphere

Those last four discs came in late this past week, so I haven't had a chance to listen to them much. The High on Fire disc is incredible. Completely balls out and Matt Pike's guitar is as blazing as ever. The Motorhead comparisons are apt and this album is highly recommended.

The Orthrelm disc is pretty awesome, too, even though I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. Orthrelm are a guitar and drums instrumental duo whose musical complexity is absurdly over the top, making it a completely exhilirating, if difficult, listen.

The album I've been listening to the most, though, is the Mars Volta disc. The album, though an exhausting seventy-seven minutes long, is engaging for nearly its entire duration. The only time the finger gets itchy to press the skip button is, ironically, towards the end of the album's shortest track, "The Widow", which has a couple of minutes of electronic, atmospheric noodling at the end. While it meets just about every definition, good or bad, of the phrase "concept album" (which really needs some better PR; what's wrong with a concept album?), it is a very rewarding listen. Pick it up if you can spare the time.

As for some previous additions:

The Z-Trip disc is pretty great. While it has a number of great blends and will get asses moving, it isn't as good as Uneasy Listening or the Future Primitive disc he did with fellow Bombshelter DJ, Radar. Frankly, there was a bit too much banter, which really dulls the momentum in spots. The Future Primitive disc, also a live album, did a much better job of keeping the party going.

The DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist disc, another built from 45s set that is something of a sequel to their awesome Brainfreeze album, is a good 'un as well. While I like Shadow's solo stuff, I really like the discs with Chemist more, simply because it sounds like their having a blast. That kind of energy is contagious.

Baile Funk 2, put together by DJ Greg Caz and DJ Sean Marquand, is a tremendous amount of fun. Until I picked up the Mars Volta disc, this was the album I was spinning the most. I was not familiar with anything on this album prior to buying it, making this a most pleasant surprise. Some of the fattest funk grooves you'll hear. Put it on at your next party, won't you?

I'm Rick James, Bitch!, put together by DJ Eleven and Cosmo Baker, is another winner, functioning as something of a greatest hits collection mixed by a couple of top-notch DJs, with bits of dialogue from the classic Chappelle's Show skit sprinkled throughout. A great party record that is a reminder of how good Rick James was.

Sadly, the DJ Spinbad record ran out of stock right after my order was placed, so that never came in. Might have to check Turntable Lab to see if it's been re-stocked, and pick up the first volume of Baile Funk, too, if it's still available.