Despite meeting each other in the 1980s and becoming friends, this is the first recorded collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Z’ev. Both musicians are well-versed in avant-garde lineage and Palestine in particular has crafted some inimitable and highly esteemed recordings. Here, on “Rubhitbangklanghear,” he doesn’t quite use his strumming technique that I still think is an undeniable high watermark in modern composition, but it’s not far off. Palestine spends his time with the metallic peals of a carillon that ring out true and wide across the stereo field while Z’ev occupies the lower registers with thudding bass drums, reverbed oscillations, and messy screes of acoustic sound. While the double CD version splits its time between solo and collaborative versions, all but seven minutes of the LP focus on the duo’s mix of sounds, which contain the best moments of “Rubhitbangklanghear.” – Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Personal pick of the week. A must have for the personal stash.
Mutations Et Protheses
Rare recordings by pioneers of industrial noise music, 1979-1983, never released before on CD or LP. Etat Brut was an industrial/noise band from Brussels that operated from 1979 until 1983. The duo (Phillippe x and Philippe X, today academic scientists) released dozens of cassettes, various flyers and Xeroxed booklets. Some collective concerts were organized at that time with Club Moral and Pseudocode. Cassettes like Emissions 1 (1981) or Géométrie d’un assassinat (1982) were released on their own label, some others in collaboration with Danny Devos (Club Moral) or Jerry WX (2Tracks, Digital Dance). EB001 was released by Club Moral in 1986, a few years after the fact. The double cassette Mutations et Prothèses was released in 1981 (Etat Brut) and re-released by Club Moral in 1986. The two bonus tracks (only on CD) “Sollicitation Extérieure” and “Psychosomatique” are extracted from 4 IN 1, a cassette released in 1982 by Grafika Airlines, Brussels, including works by Pseudocode, Human Flesh and Mécanique Végétale.
Simply, “Blitz Gazer,” the new album from French duo DAT Politics, is a lot of damn fun. DAT Politics have been around for over a decade and “Blitz Gazer” is something of a reboot for the band, who were previously a trio. These stylized pop confections grind their way into your head with their insanely catchy hooks and big fat beats. It’s a tried-and-true combination but DAT Politics absoultely kill it on “Blitz Gazer.” From the anthemic leads on “Switch On” to the auspicious, ’80s-tinge of “Between Us,” they manage to cover a lot of ground. Sure, every song here has a heavy pop-bend to it, but the songwriting is so good and the execution so flawless that this is head & shoulders above all the pretender-pop records that come out every other week. Hints of modern R&B bleed through the chaotic and bizarre “Corpsicle” - one of the album’s standouts - which lead into the robotic haze of “Melt Down.” Plus, I’m a sucker for layer-upon-layer of vocoder and DAT Politics play that trick in spades. I think the reason this album stands out so much in the end is that there’s an ambivalence that pervades the entire album and it really, really works. You get the feeling that these two could not give a fuck and are just having fun, doing whatever they want - everyone else be damned. It’s their attitude and talent as songwriters that make “Blitz Gazer” such a good time and an album you’ll return to over and over. Oh, and this was recorded in Berlin which somehow says it all. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
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