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Prem's Faves for 1998
{no particular order}
KUSF San Francisco, 90.3 FM
Band/Artist Release Record Label Prem's Spew
AALY Trio + Ken Vandermark Stumble Wobbly Rail tempered but menacing jazz improv.; sometimes heavy, sometimes quiet and mysterious
The Abyssinians Declaration of Dub Heartbeat/Rounder masterful dub remixes of tracks from the 1993 Satta Massagana release; a great example (and one of the few I've heard) of harmonic reggae
{various} Africans in America Rykodisc soundtrack to a six-hour PBS miniseries focusing on the history of slavery and its effects upon American culture, reflecting perspectives both black and white; included here are amazing harmonic vocalizations emulating plantation work songs, traditional African pieces on the kora, African-American church choirs and banjo folk, striking traditional European vocalizations and instrumentals on the harpsichord, bagpipes, and other instruments--the music here relates more than could any historian
Horace Andy Mr. Bassie Heartbeat/Rounder bouncy 1970s reggae tending a bit toward ska; he sounds like a mischievous little kid on this recording
{various} Angels of Life in a Psychic Wasteland Eerie Materials strange to insane tunes from around the globe; includes contributions from Charming Hostess, Eugene Chadbourne, Violent Onsen Geisha, Thi-Linh Le, Mieskuoro Huutajat, Transkaakko, and LAS Galore (if you know any of them), among others
Billy Bang Commandment No More harsh and contorted violin improvisation interspersed with shouts and other extraneous sounds; not your typical violin solos by any measure [1997 release]
The BellRays Let It Blast Vital Gesture cranking HR/punk collides with seething soul spewed out by a Diva {Lisa Kekaula} who'd make Tina Turner wish she were young again; let it blast, indeed
Califone Califone Flydaddy (this EP has been combined with the subsequent Road Cone EP of the same title on a full-length CD) zoning country-tinged rock that's groggily seductive
Charming Hostess Eat Vaccination FunkyPunkyBulgarianKlezmerR&BMonster; see them live, too, 'cuz they put on awesome shows
Alice Coltrane Journey in Satchidananda Impulse!/MCA reissue of this classic 1970 release combining Indian and Middle Eastern influences with harp-focused ethereal jazz; Pharoah Sanders and others join in as guests [1997 release]
Gasoline Gasoline Estrus riotous cranking bluesy punk; 'nuf said
Julius Hemphill/Warren Smith Chile New York Black Saint voodoo-laced sax/flute/percussion jazz improv. recorded back in 1980; Hemphill and Smith create a very ominous environment with this collaboration and read each other's intent masterfully
Hopewell Contact Burnt Hair eerie to harsh detached rock; I expected this to be pleasant, but was rudely surprised [1997 release]
The Japonize Elephants From Zorlock, Land of the Lost Le Fete Du Cloune-Pirate Secretly Canadian zany and raucous yet uncanny convergence of bluegrass, klezmer, Middle Eastern music and other elements; leaves you discombobulated yet yearning for the enlightenment attainable only via the Lords of Zorlock
Kable Tardy All the Time Fleece psychotic/psychedelic rock experimentalism (with elements of country and folk, among other influences) which indulges you in the bizarre
Bill Laswell/Sacred System Nagual Site BMG/Wicklow a mixture of Indian ragas & Pakistani qawwalis with Laswell's modern beat influences; this release leans far more toward the traditional than the modern, unleashing its latent power
Liminal Lounge Pre-Set Knitting Factory Works darkness rock/electronica with scary scapes and weird effects [1997 release]
Arne Nordheim Electric Rune Grammofon re-release of this 1974 masterpiece of electro-acoustic music; sounds converge and disperse with uncannily freaky elegance, maintaining a compositional context behind a facade of randomness
{various} Our Heat (Your Moisture) Scuss focused wretchedness, in a good way; all kinds of wondrously scraggly tunes from the likes of William Carlos Williams, Pineal Ventana, God Is My Co-Pilot, Who Killed Teacher? and others in a similar vein
Painkiller Guts of a Virgin & Buried Secrets Earache re-release of these turbulent 1991/1992 EPs on one CD; John Zorn, Bill Laswell and Mick Harris churn out frenzied yet lurking pieces incorporating aspects of dub into screaming noizjazz
Pointless Orchestra Approaching Totality Without Fear loomy to harsh textured soundscapes centered on ominous percussion, w/plenty of Chinese influence
Ali Jihad Racy Mystical Legacies Lyrichord striking to haunting instrumentals on Middle Eastern lutes (oud, tanbur, buzuq) with accompanying hand percussion
Ruins Vrresto Sonore PunkProgScreamingTwistedness; there's a new bassist this time around who really deals out some powerful chops to accompany the 100-armed drummer/vocalist
Sandbox Trio Idiophone/Orcus Drawl Frank Mark Arts dark instrumental ambient/jazz meld with a heavy focus on experimental percussion; pretty spooky stuff [1997 release]
Ultra Bidé Super Milk Alternative Tentacles rockety punkety weirdness--very twisted and sometimes almost sci-fi; been struck by lightning lately?
{various} Untouchable Outcaste Beats Vol. 1 Outcaste/Tommy Boy Indian music transposed into beat electronica; excellent synthesis [1997 release]
Uz Jsme Doma Pohadky Ze Zapotre Bi {Fairytales from Needland} Skoda quirky-jerky time-signature-oblivious rock from Prague that somehow manages to integrate all kinds of unusual traditional Eastern European influences, among a host of other influences, into its assault [1995 release]
The Vandermark Five Target or Flag Atavistic harsh jazz with a precious few elements of rock thrown in here and there, but by no means fusion; very in-your-face
Violent Green Hangovers in the Ancient World Up stark, scary/eerie beat-laced rock that drags you into its darkness
Big Joe Williams These Are My Blues Hightone/Testament haunting blues recorded in at Rockford College, IL in 1965; Williams employs spooky tremolo techniques on his distinctive 9-string guitar for this gripping live performance
William Carlos Williams Collection Plate Shoestring torrents of noizjazz; grabs you by the neck and flaps you around like a wet noodle then dumps you in a heap to contemplate your existence
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