VARIOUS - 1382: the Persian New Wave: Underground Out of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Tian An Mien 89)
Killed By Tehran? An underground comp from Iran? Some kind of hoax? Nope, not at all. Since the 1990's, the Tian An Men 89 label has been on a nonstop mission to document the sounds of regions that apart from providing plenty of releases of their traditional music, have offered the West few actual punk rock artists. So far, they've touched regions as diverse as Hong Kong, Kyrgystan, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Myanmar (Mission of Burma indeed), and according to their site have plans to hit up Iraq, Tunisia, Kenya and more. 1382: the Persian New Wave is to my knowledge the only compilation of Iranian underground; there is virtually no network for independent distribution, and most of these tracks are basement or live recordings handed to Tian An Men 89 on cassette or MP3. The results? Not surprisingly quite unique and certainly aware of Western and Eastern European elements, in fact the teenage Mud definitely evoke the sound of the Prague folk-rock underground more than anything, while Dark Earth's "Jang (War)" has some definite German techno/industrial leanings roughed up in demo quality. There is unbelievably a band called Superman and the Joe Ordinaries that sing in broken English (I made out "wallabies"rhyming with "I hate your Mommys and Daddys" so, uh, there you go), and even more strangely a band called the Fat Bats doing a song called "Joe Ordinaries" while coming off as Offspring-wannabes. Yeah, well, it can be spotty at time, I must say, but But Oolanbator's "Fire In he Dead of the Night" (Real Audio) is a jawdropper, sampling off-time Arthur Brown screaming "I am the God of Hellfire!!!" in the middle of some uber-weirdass primitive synth workouts and Fuck-Off records-era detuned guitar clutter that slides in some of the expected Middle Eastern influences. But you really have to wonder, did Godz records make it to Iran? Or what? Who knows, but this track alone would fetch some mega bucks on some DIY-slobberin' collector's list. The distribution comes through France for this LP, but you should check with our man Scott Soriano, who is flowing the Tian An Men 89 stuff at his mailorder. In the meantime, kudos to labels like this one and others like Radon and Sublime Frequencies who are helping connect the geographical dots.
VARIOUS - Heavy Meckle (Shadetek)
You read everywhere about Grime. Is it taking over and changing the world of hip hop? It's futuristic and all that, but playing my Ludacris-lovin' nephew a Wiley or Dizzee track made him think his old uncle had a screw loose, so I can't really speak for the outside-my-orbit world I suppose. But if those artists as well as the Run the Road comps have heightened your appetite to dive into the Grime pool for even more, here's your next purchase, which oddly enough stems from New York and Berlin DJs Matt Shadetek and Sheen respectively, rather than from a UK mix source. Each mixes 20 or so tracks in a row, and the pace is slamming; heavily synthesized and rough quality MC action (often with the levels near the red), dozens of producers represented and rarely a spot to get a breath of fresh air. Gunshot blasts sampled as beats (taking cues from Baltimore tracks?), Lethal B yelling like crazy over Kylie Minogue, echo-drenched dubstep beats zinging in and out around you keeping everything just elastic enough to not make it completely overwhelming, despite how frantic the BPMs and how indeceipherable the MC action gets. This is a music that you kind of zone in on the energy of and this along with the Plastic People club live comps are definitely among the hip-hop high notes of the year for me. Shadetek's "Dry Ice Riddim" (Real Audio) from the Push Bin show with Lou Ziegler (web only show, so don't fret the cussin').
FAT WORM OF ERROR - #############s (Ultra Eczema)
The last few years have seen these New England nogoodniks spraying colored chunks of sound vomit all over the damn place: vinyl, cassettes, CDRs, a full-length on Load, and at live at noise-gobbling freakfests all over the US and Europe (including a session terrorizing the Post Office next door off the porch session here at WFMU). Taking cues from pre-Birdman Boredoms, Super Sugar Crisp (the cereal), bands like Deerhoof and Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase (both of which originally housed one of these guys) and confusion in general, FWOE are in top form on this here gorgeous 7" single. It's piled to the top with dense, fevered monkeyspastic electronics, paintcan percussion and garbled chatter (token line: "5 out 6 bones are out of joint and will be until the 6 out of 7 children with braces wire shut their ugly faces"). The band's site is within itself a dog chasing around several tails, and if the beauty of this 7" isn't enough to behold, get a gander at the Ultra Eczema site itself.