VARIOUS - Like a Rug In a Lake (Freedom From)
Six years in the making, this happenin' comp of the subterranean who's-who in the USA is a benefit for Priya Ray, member of Florida freaks Kremy 'Lectric Santa who sadly sustained spinal injury from a fall from a loft in 1999. Since relocated to Berkeley with bandmate Robert Price (who was the man behind the rolodex in putting this great thing together), word of a revitalized KLS underway though Priya is wheelchair bound is good news indeed. In the meantime, you could do much worse than grabbing this 51-track collection of mysterious sounds: Deerhoof, live Minutemen, Quintron, Derek Bailey, Azalia Snail, Sonic Youth, Cavity, Temple of Bon Matin, Alastair Galbraith all contribute snippets of snoggin' sound, there's even a live Minutemen cut and an Orchid Spangiafora track that loops spoken Don Van Vliet. The Freedom From website doesn't seem to be working, so you might want to contact Robert directly here at his My Space page. In the meantime, here's a track (Real Audio) from Morbid Opera that fans of John Waters' Female Trouble should appreciate.
FREDERIC LE JUNTER - Chansons Impopulaires (In Poly Sons)
Like Pierre Bastien and former collaborator Pierre Berthet, French musician Frederic Le Junter has gone deep into the world of homespun mechanical music, a genre that admittedly isn't always as interesting to the ear as it is the eye. Chansons Impopulaires is an exception, like the group Klimperei, or Bastien's pre-Rephlex material, off-kilter acoustic instrumentation all played in a very live situation adds a sense of immediacy also well complemented by Frederic's sideways French croon. Aside from amplification, everything here seems to be carved from wood, cardboard or bent kitchenware (there's even a slide trombone made of a dented saucepan), self-strung rubbery guitars add melodic lines over the squeaks and scrapes, rhythmic clicking percussion sounds like it could be anything from jerry-rigged cuckoo clocks to pans hitting percussion while spinning on a turntable. More info on Frederic's history and many avenues travelled in both music and art here.
VARIOUS - Big Apple Rappin': Early Days of New York Hip-Hop Culture 1979-82 (Soul Jazz)
Killer! If you've obsessed about this era in NYC hip-hop and have spent many an hour digging through crates for Spoonie G "Spoonin' Rap" to no avail, look no further. This is an amazingly packaged retrospective of the early days complete with flyers, interviews and tracks by Xanadu, (Real Audio of "Sure Shot" here) Cold Crush Brothers, Sypder D, the Fly Guys, Nice and Nasty 3 and more. Here you can trace the cross-breeding of Jamaican rhythms filtered through NYC studios blending in with DIY-disco and funk; the images of early block party jams are vivid indeed and the track choice is excellent. Like the Acid comp Soul Jazz did this past year, the mixture of well-known and obscure works just right.