Banana Nutrament

New York Noise 2: Record Geek Boogaloo

On the road seeing relatives at Christmas, I only had the December issue of The Wire to read while flying. Thing looked like a used porno mag, with the soft grain of Lighting Bolt's merged head ripped up and gooey from the sticky that had held the affixed CD.

Worth seeking out that December one, even with the $8-$9 American price tag. I find individual issues wildly hit or miss, but there is a great piece on toasting and Jamaican deejaying. Also a little something in the back on Rodney Graham. The Wire Tapper 14 freebie CD has a few bright spots, top among them a Kieran Hebdan/Steve Reid collaboration. Since you can pick up an issue to hear the "Soul Oscillations" track, here's a different piece they did together:

Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden - Knives and Forks
Anyone know why Hebden calls his other project Four Tet? Just curious.

The biggest eye opener for me was not in the editorial, but in a back page advertisement from Soul Jazz. They are putting out a New York Noise 2 edition, and this time it's worth getting. I had no use for the first one, as most all the selections have been seen elsewhere (No New York, Disco Not Disco, Anti NY).

But this sequel has a lot of left field choices, I've barely heard of most artists on it. The usual suspects are already trying to figure out what tracks are contained within, with little luck. Note the initial question on that message board was posed by Optimo's JD Twitch, who might get the Soul Jazz treatment himself, in, oh, thirty years or so. He's also put up a No Wave mix available here.

Almost half the artists on New York Noise 2 -- Rhys Chatham, Ut, Y Pants, Don King, Glorious Stranger, and Mofungo, took part in White Column's Noise Fest, which we posted about back in October. Don't know if Soul Jazz licensed any tracks from that tape, considering its dodgy sound quality, it's likely they didn't. Pulsallama I know from my original LP of State of the Union, a downtown concept compilation put together by Fred Frith in 1982. The rest, I'm not so sure about, here's an order form with press release.

It seems that three groups will be interested in buying this:

1) Sonic Youth completists

2) People like myself who enjoy these "scene" comilations, even if, or especially when having no idea who half the artists are

3) Newly minted Arthur Russell fans who are still enjoying the revival

To that third point, it seems like the revival is ebbing, but it's likely to reignite again with more Audika releases of AR's work in 2006. It's also rumored the DFA will put out a remix of some old, abandoned Arthur Russell project. If that's true, it's certain the blogs will engage in internecine warfare to be the first to trot that out for a listen. I think I'll respectfully withdraw myself from that pitched battle.

It's likely an Arthur Russell disco piece included on the
New York Noise 2 comp, especially with the mention of Nicky Siano in the press release. Likely to be something Soul Jazz has previously released. But it could be a guazy, grainy tape project of AR's, perhaps something that hasn't yet seen the light of day.

Here are a few pieces I am quite certain won't be included, though hopefully will be rereleased someday:

Arthur Russell - April 27th, 1975 (Instrumentals Vol. 2)

This orchestral work falls outside of the no wave / dubby disco context, but is gorgeous nonetheless.

Peter Gordon and Arthur Russell - That Hat

Here's some stacatto beat driven avant funk that may be more familiar to
our ears.

Peter Zummo and Arthur Russell - Song IV
Apparently Russell has a halo effect on the prices of projects he had guested on. To hear more of Zummo and what he's up to these days, check this WFMU archived broadcast