Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Taking a short break from Simon Fisher Turner to clean up some loose ends. Today I have some very brief reviews of a couple of CDs that were sent to me.

[Quick note: damn, I guess it had to happen eventually, but fluxblog and I both posted the same track today. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. Anyway, go to fluxblog for more on AK-Momo.]

AK-Momo have gotten some notice on a few other blogs (scroll down on the last one) for their CD Return To NY, and the info page about them is here. Their label, part of the Parasol Records empire, is usually pretty good with the descriptions and seems to have it about right when they recommend this to fans of Kate Bush and Portishead. The vocalist does sound very Kate Bush, and a lot of the songs have a vaguely noir feel, though the instrumentation is dinkier than Portishead's (that's not an insult...AK-Momo are putting the Optigan to good use).

I've always liked Portishead's sound, but have never been the biggest fan of their songwriting (too much spy music) and have the same general feeling re: AK-Momo. My favorite song of theirs (also apparently the first one they wrote) is a little more major-key, and actually reminds me a tiny bit of Cocorosie. Here's the opening track, Greasy Spoon. Not to be one of those old people who always make inappropriate references to the music of their day (i.e. "everything sounds like the Beatles" syndrome), but I can also see this song appealing to Slapp Happy fans. Really.

FWIW, Parasol is currently selling the CD for $8.50, so if this interests you, be aware that it's cheap. Moving on to CD #2...

Trztn used to be in Flux Information Sciences, a terrific and missed NYC band who put on a helluva hot live show. Their CD for Michael Gira's Young God Records has moments of greatness and can be found here.

Recently Trztn put out an album called Waiting For The Sun as Sauna Kings (band is him and Fabian Stall, with occasional help from a guy from EinstĂĽrzende Neubauten, and I'm not going to pretend I know anything about Fabian Stall). As with just about everything I've heard of Trztn's, it's got a neat creepy agression, a decent hit/miss ratio, and an often surprising amount of tunefulness given the overall sound. It's mostly damaged electronics, and I keep being struck by the fact that some parts of it aren't really all that far from some of Dizzee Rascal's more out-there tracks. Not that Sauna Kings are remotely hip-hop or grime, but sonically there's some shared territory.

In general, I'm a song-oriented person, so I'm more interested in the songs with vocals. A couple that I especially like are the title track Waiting For The Sun and The Sauna King (I've yet to figure out the Doors references, so if anyone can help with that I'm all ears). I saw this up on the wall at Kim's the last time I was there, so hopefully it's doing reasonably well. In my humble opinion, especially in these post-Strokes days, there aren't nearly enough people in NYC doing this sort of thing (or maybe "getting any attention for doing this sort of thing").

If the Kim's shopping experience isn't a part of your lifestyle, you can also buy the album direct here.

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