May’s 90 Tracks:
Hush by Asobi Seksu
Another fine release from New York’s Asobi Seksu. This one steps back from the shoegazer leanings of the previous releases in favour of sweeter, more pop-oriented songs. I’m sure this one is going to alienate fans who came just for the feedback and swirl of the previous albums, but I rather like it.
* These Flowers of Ours by The Asteroid No. 4
* An Amazing Dream by The Asteroid No. 4
I first heard The Asteroid No. 4 on the Sounds from Psychedelphia” compilation – the song “Tricks of the Trade” stuck in my head seemingly forever after. Like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, these guys take a great formula and run with it – any fans of 1960s psychedelic rock will find this right up their alley. Recommended.
* Man With The Movie Camera by Biosphere
Yet more haunting and creepy ambient soundtrack from the masterful Geir Jenssen. It’s hard to say how it’s different from other Biosphere albums – they’re so minimal that casual listeners would probably think it all sounds the same. It’s not the best of Jenssen’s album (that title is held by Microgravity – one of the most haunting and creepy ambient albums I’ve ever heard) but it’s really good.
* Fallout by Front Line Assembly
A collection of remixes and outtakes from the excellent Artificial Soldier album, along with three new tracks.
* Split by Jesu / Battle of Mice
Two tracks each by the incomparable Jesu, and Battle Of Mice. I don’t understand the logic of this split single – the two Jesu tracks are slow and introspective, and the two Battle of Mice tracks are screaming aggression. It’s a lot like putting two early Sigur Rós tracks on a single with two early Sonic Youth tracks. It’s all good, but the pairing is incoherent. That said, it’s well worth the download.
* Lost Alone by Mind in a Box
Introspective synth-pop from video game music composer Stefan Poiss. Not bad, but a bit repetitive.
* Sabresonic II by The Sabres of Paradise
Is there anything to be said about The Sabres of Paradise other than “They were brilliant?” I don’t think so. Get it. Get everything they did. It’s hard as hell to find on physical media, so EMusic is really the best way to get it now.
* Linienbusse by Studio Pankow
I downloaded this in the mistaken belief that it was Italian electronic duo Pankow, last heard from in the 1990s. It sounds kind of like acid-jazz done with synthesizers. Not bad at all.
Looking back the past three months, it reads like I’m one of those guys that just likes everything, because I keep giving everything positive reviews. Thing is, between eMusic’s previews, allmusic and the other review sites on the internet, it’s pretty rare that I’m downloading anything that’s unlikely to appeal to me. So I’m not so much reviewing albums as I am attempting to describe why I like them.