Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Back to Prem's [ig] Noble Web Page--main
Prem's Faves, Early 1990s
{no particular order}
KUSF San Francisco, 90.3 FM
Band/Artist Release Record Label Prem's Spew
The Abyssinians Satta Massagana Heartbeat/Rounder Records this reggae trio's amazing harmonies create a mezmerizing sonic shimmer; harmonize it, don't criticize it, and I will advertise it [1993 release]
Alloy Orchestra Lonesome BIB zany, frenetic and sometimes almost cartoonish instrumental romps from Roger Miller and friends featuring organs, xylophones, pianos, percussion, and more; this album was the soundtrack for a restored 1928 silent film of the same title [1995 release]
The August Sons Plants, Planets and Insects El Recordo/Pacifico slippery jumbly rock accompanied by stark yet fuzzy electronic backgrounds that counteract some of the music's harsher attacks; blurby disturbances [1995 release]
Eugene Chadbourne Songs Intakt unsettled folk mixes with twangy experiments on acoustic guitar and banjo for this release, which features a number of covers as well as original material; Chadbourne hums along dementedly during many of the instrumental interludes, adding an element of the bizarre [1993 release]
Chainsaw Jazz Disconcerto Cuneiform tweaky collisions in the context of jazz, yet not free jazz; messed up rhythmic motifs abound with riffs aplenty [1993 release]
Citizen Fish Free Souls in a Trapped Environment Bluurg reggae/ska fuses with ballistic (British-accent) punk on this release, successfully melding the best aspects of both; the pace continually shifts from rapid-fire to dubbin' and back, and the ride exhilarates [1990 release]
Beth Custer The Shirt I Slept In Beth Custer deviant clarinet-oriented compositions, often bizarre and sometimes creepy; Custer is joined by a flotilla of other musicians including Ralph Carney, Eugene Chadbourne, and others to create music that just won't behave "normally" [1995 release]
Dead Can Dance Aion 4AD spooky classical vocal choruses meld with mystical instrumentation to create a mood of shivering pensiveness; though Dead Can Dance employs classical vocal techniques, they do not shun modernist embellishments in creating their sound but rather embrace beat sequences, etc. to create this haunting offering [1990 release]
Dos Uno Con Dos New Alliance this release compiles all of the tracks from the original self-titled Dos album from 1986 and the "Numero Dos" EP from 1989--all tracks involve subtle yet intricate and gripping bass duets by the outfit's two members, Kira and Mike Watt, as well as unobtrusive vocals on several of the tracks; fluid yet eerily unsettling [1991 release]
Endangered Species What Grandma Told Me [self-released] heavily rhythmic, mainly acoustic compositions that don't fit neatly into any predefined category, but integrate elements of rock and early ska with jazzy experimental twists and rootsy flavor to create a whole that far exceeds the sum of its parts; Sebastian Craig and Mark French manned the helm on this limited cassette-only release [1992 release]
The Ex + Tom Cora ...And the Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders Fist Puppet rough-edged suspension of particles of agitated, caustic rock and experimental cello harshness in an acidic fluid of ethnic influences from Dutch to Japanese to Turkish and beyond; the untoward yet deliberate sounds that emanate from Cora's cello complement the fractious riffs and vocals of the Ex [1993 release]
Zusaan Kali Fasteau Prophecy Flying Note a conflagration of free jazz and ethnic influences of Africa, India, Europe, and Asia; Fasteau is accompanied by William Parker on contrabass/balafon, Badal Roy on tablas, and a handful of other musicians and together, they elucidate the commonality between diverse forms while at the same time distinguishing the idiosyncracies of each in a manner often more disturbing than serene [1993 release]
Charles Gayle with Sunny Murray & William Parker Kingdom Come Knitting Factory Works grinding free jazz, featuring Gayle smashing away at the piano or blatting barrages of sound from his tenor saxophone or bass clarinet, joined by Parker's machine-gun style contrabass plucking or horror-movie bowing and Murray's destructive percussion; do not venture into this Kingdom seeking refuge--you will not find it [1994 release]
The Glee Club Mine 4AD spooky whispery pop with a Celtic vocalist whose swoopy singing adds an eerie shimmer; sweet yet ominous [1994 release]
Aziz Herawi Master of Afghani Lutes Arhoolie stirring pieces on the Afghani lutes (the dutar and rebab) accompanied by pounding tablas and dairazangi (tambourine); Herawi's music ties together composition and performance styles of the Middle East and India, allowing interesting comparisons between the two [1992 release]
Hieronymus Firebrain Here Magnetic subtly incongruous rock flavored with elements of weirdness pop and folk (fiddle, accordion, etc.); Jonathan Segel of Camper Van Beethoven mans the helm of this project, weaving together a variety of influences tongue-in-cheek [1994 release]
Sam Lightnin' Hopkins Lightnin' Hopkins Smithsonian Folkways just nimble-fingered Lightnin' and his guitar, conjuring up some brisk, consummate yet modest acoustic country blues; though these tracks were recorded in 1959 (and originally released the same year), their sound quality rivals or surpasses that of many current releases--crisp clarity allows for the appreciation of every pluck, every intonation [1990 re-issue]
Idiot Flesh The Nothing Show Rock Against Rock/Vaccination uproariously flippant histrionic rock that leaves no stone unturned, musically speaking, delving into almost every genre imaginable, from rock to cabaret to opera and beyond, bringing into play a variety of ethnic influences and instrumentation; expect to be bombarded by sardonic absurdism at each turn, as it permeates every track [1994 release]
Jennyanykind Etc... Number Six eerie jangly poppish rock that lingers in the back of your mind long after you've listened to it; each of these songs bubbles along gently but several of them feature unexpected departures as latent energy swells to the surface to roughen the edges [1994 release]
Kramer The Guilt Trip Shimmy Disc/Knitting Factory reservedly corruptive and capriciously insincere yet ever-so-pleasant rock that begs for your attention but mocks your attentiveness; these tunes inspire you to listen and sing along, but if you do so you will find yourself singing nonsense in a vain attempt at appreciation [1992 release]
Lawsuit Emergency Third Rail Power Trip [self-released] vibrant, quirkily fun tunes from this 10-piece band that catchily yet substantively wrap together pop, ska, jazz, reggae, rock, Latin percussion, and a host of other influences; there's definitely an element of sillyness to the style of the lead vocalist of this band, but it's wittily applied at just the right moments in each of these tracks to make for many a wry smile upon each listen [1993 release]
Look People Crazy Eggs Hypnotic cracked hybrid of rock, electronic music, jazz, and pure unbridled lunacy; listening to this album is the musical equivalent of riding blindfolded in a bumper car--the tunes leave no time for breath as they lurch into and out of their numerous and frenetic divergent phases [1993 release]
The Machine Gun TV TV Violence Mimic/Japan Overseas a blitz of electronics meets addled rock while a sweet, cutesy female vocalist suspends delicate phrases above the shrapnel of her ranting bandmates; the resulting clash of perspective congeals into an amalgam of reverie and delirium [1995 release]
Mississippi Fred McDowell Mississippi Fred McDowell Rounder early recordings from this master of Mississippi Delta bottleneck blues from 1962, originally released in Europe in 1981 but unavailable in the US, surprisingly, until 1995; McDowell's gritty, powerful delivery of the blues has influenced many, including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and T. Model Ford, all of whom learned at his feet [1995 release]
Moist Fist Moist Fist Rise freaky rock augmented with spooky synth/electronic music in a decidedly mischievous fashion; something's very wrong--what is it? [1993 release]
The Moles Instinct Flydaddy quiet, whispery rock reminiscent of "Something Else by the Kinks," but more ominous, bass-heavy, and spooky; this incarnation of the band doesn't really represent the Moles but rather Richard Davies, since he is the only member of the Moles featured here, though he and the musicians who join him on this release perform exquisitely [1994 release]
New Klezmer Trio Masks and Faces Nine Winds/Tzadik slithery klezmer jazz oriented around Ben Goldberg's clarinet; John Zorn, in creating his Masada projects, was heavily influenced by the recordings of New Klezmer Trio and therefore re-released NKT's recordings (originally released on Nine Winds) on his own record label in 1996 [1991 release]
The Nightblooms Butterfly Girl Fierce/Fright driving rock that entrances you with its eerie harmonies on this CD EP; a mixture of the concrete and the spectral [1992 release]
Only a Mother Feral Chickens T.E.C. Tones quirky folk mingles with subtle absurdity, involving mandolins, violins, bongos, ukuleles, bassoons, organs, zithers, banjos aplenty, and more; Frank Pahl and friends are joined occasionally by Eugene Chadbourne and Amy Denio, among others [1995 release]
The Persuasions Right Around the Corner Rounder gutsy a cappella characteristic of this group, yet with some material not typically associated with their performances; even includes a Frank Zappa cover [1994 release]
Matthew Shipp Trio Circular Temple Infinite Zero/American consonance and dissonance battle with one another for your attention as Shipp, William Parker (bass) and Whit Dickey (drums) symbiotically dispel your preconceived notions concerning that of which jazz--and in a greater sense, music--consists; intricately complex rhythms abound within each piece, but not in any overarching fashion, while the restrictions of chords and resolution take a subordinate role [1990 release]
The Splatter Trio The Splatter Trio Rastascan wayward compositions and improvisation that wryly pepper sincerity with crassness and easily frustrate the indignant; Gino Robair (percussion), Myles Boisen (guitar/bass), and Dave Barrett (sax) churn out captivating, turn-on-a-dime pieces full of splorts and jabbers that maintain a sense of direction simply because the three can read each others' intent so well--often thwarting one another's puristic inclinations and in so doing challenging themselves to sculpt sentient tunes that adhere only to their own twisted logic [1990 release]
Ned Sublette, Lawrence Weiner & the Persuasions Ships at Sea, Sailors and Shoes Excellent/Qbadisc strange backgrounds and Sublette's twangy southern vocal join the a cappella of the Persuasions, but this ain't the Persuasions as you've ever heard them before; dark excursions into the tonality of human voice, with frequent emphasis on the eerie bass lead of Jimmy Hayes [1993 release]
L. Subramaniam Three Ragas for Solo Violin Nimbus solemn yet captivating renditions of ragas reflecting the Karnatic music traditions of south India with traces of the influence of Western classical music; Subramaniam has studied both Indian and Western classical foundations and has fashioned pieces which integrate the two forms--highlighting the subtleties of each--on this instrument, which has been integral to Indian music since the 1700s [1991 release]
Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra Angels and Demons at Play/The Nubians of Plutonia Evidence a transitional phase for the Arkestra featuring elements of both hard bop and of the free form for which it would soon come to be known; primal African rhythms dominate many tracks as percussion takes a significant--if not pivotal--role, while many exotic instruments come into play to further distance the Arkestra from the straight and narrow [1993 re-issue of these two albums on one CD; "Angels and Demons at Play" contains material recorded in 1956 and 1960, while "The Nubians of Plutonia" features material from 1958 and 1959]
Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra The Magic City Evidence a passionate interplay of sound and ether that one could be persuaded was produced by musicians both of Earth and of Hades; Sun Ra plays two roles in the generation of the music, one concrete (on the piano) and one abstract (on the freakish Selmer Clavioline) as he guides the Arkestra through periods of both spontaneous comity and inflective soloing on a variety of woodwinds and brass to complement the eclectic rhythms of the percussion and bass [1993 re-issue; recordings from 1965]
Supreme Dicks Workingman's Dick {Archival Recordings 1987-89} Freek intentionally blasé, insomnia-soaked vocals and cryptically nonsensical lyrics intermingle with meandering guitar/rhythm section, stumbling through climaxes and decrescendos with muddled spontaneity and a penchant for subtle tongue-in-cheek absurdity; whereas others would fail miserably in their attempts to create anything of interest by following this treacherous path, this is the territory of the Supreme Dicks, and they comport themselves with aplomb [1994 release]
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 Admonishing the Bishops Matador smooth to jouncy rock that veers through divergent phases and refuses to stay in one place very long; folksy tinges of banjo and mandolin provide a counterweight to the recklessness [1993 release]
Third Person The Bends Knitting Factory Works very intricate, highly structured, edgy improv. sessions featuring three musicians: Tom Cora on cello & live cello sampling, Sam Bennett on drums and sampling, and a "third person"--that person being either Don Byron on clarinets, George Cartwright on saxes, Chris Cochrane on guitar, Nic Collins on electronics, Catherine Jauniaux on vocals, Myra Melford on piano, Zeena Parkins on harp, or Marc Ribot on guitar, depending on the track; some tracks are pensive, others jagged [1991 release]
Third Person Lucky Water Knitting Factory Works discombobulated compositions/improv. featuring Kazutoki Umezu on horns as the "third person" in this trio; whereas the previous Third Person release featured numerous musicians individually teaming up with the cello/live cello sampling of Tom Cora and the percussion/sampling of Samm Bennett, this release features Umezu as the third musician on every track, but the performances vary in form and intensity to command your attention [1995 release]
Jimbo Trout and the Fish People Jimbo Trout and the Fish People Twah! extra-chunky folk/bluegrass with elements of jazz, swing, and other influences; footstompin', gut-bucket fun [1995 release]
Turtletoes Jackersville Hefty decidedly strange rock with elements of jazz and other influences; John Hughes III provided the vocal for this outfit and its successor--Bill Ding--but whereas Bill Ding tended to be electronically oriented, Turtletoes focused more on acoustic instrumentation and involved far more musicians with very different backgrounds, creating an odd pastiche of sound [1995 release]
Ultra Bidé God Is God...Puke Is Puke Alternative Tentacles bruising blunt-force rock conniptions and screaming punk unload on your head as you cringe in terror; blistering attacks of sound to short-circuit your synapses [1995 release]
Vacuum Tree Head The Oob Eye Works Megaphone choppy percussive experimental/rock/jazz/noise hybrid that screams in your face and stomps on your foot--and you dance; plenty of unexpected developments under the guise of chaos [1994 release]
Volapük Le Feu du Tigre {Tiger Fire} Cuneiform jumpy, irreverant compositions for bass clarinet, cello, and drums with occasional vocal gesticulation; a hyperactive French chamber ensemble that revels in musical mischief-making [1995 release]
When Girls Collide Euro Trash Girl Tour 1994 Crush deeply warped serpentine rock that cleverly undulates its way into your brain, in one ear and out the other, while you sit transfixed; eerie vocals intertwine with teasing electro-beat elements and freakish backgrounds [1994 release]
Zen Guerrilla Zen Guerrilla Compulsiv blues-drenched hard rock that envelops you in a soup of reverb-heavy guitar and vocals altered by some kind of sound-warping voice box (or megaphone?); driving tunes that blast out from behind a veil of murkiness [1992 release]
ZGA Zgamoniums ReR/Recommended stark, percussive passages that elicit visions of scenes from an apocalyptic science-fiction film set in the distant future where hideous alien beings tyrannize the humanoid populace; this Latvian outfit creates its sound utilizing a mixture of off-the-shelf instruments (clarinet, sax, drums, guitar, bass, etc.) and a menagerie of home-made metallic contraptions (ring modulator, iron objects, electroshaver, more) to sculpt intricate, ominous pieces [1991 release]
Back to Prem's [ig] Noble Web Page--main