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

Buy My Village Voice 2005 Pazz & Jop Votes

I just realized I won't be able to make January rent by selling promos to used CD stores. It looks like I will actually have to get a job, like some ordinary peon. Temping for a few days means less time for pacing around my basement apartment on Red Bull benders, digesting all the new music out there. This of course means fewer jewels of critical thought to bless my readership with.

In order to raise a little cash, I am selling a few of my Village Voice Pazz & Jop votes. Up for sale are about 36 points of album voting power, along with two singles picks. You get to do the #1s in both categories, just don't make me look like a jackass. I think it's obvious, but the blanks are yours to fill in.

Dear banananutrament:

Thank you for your submission - your votes have NOT been recorded, please
COMPLETELY fill out your ballot

Your Pazz & Jop albums ballot was submitted as follows:

2. Animal Collective - Feels - Fat Cat (14)
3. Kelley Polar Quartet - Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens - Environ (13)
5. Optimo - Psyche Out - Eskimo (11)
7. Las Malas Amistades - Jardin Interior - Psych-o-Path (8)
8. Dungen - Ta Det Lungt - Kemado (7)
9. M.I.A. - Arular - Interscope (6)
10. Spankrock - Voila! - Money Studies (5)

Your Pazz & Jop singles ballot was submitted as follows:

2. Jesse Rose - Black Coffee
3. Prefuse 73 and The Books - Pagina Ocho (with Claudia Deheza)
4. Jackie-O Motherfucker - Hey Mr. Sky
5. Annie - Me Plus One (The Rapture Hush Hush Remix)
7. Babyshambles - Killamangiro
8. Les Visiteurs - Snoop's Acid Drop
9. Panthers - Thank Me With Your Hands (MSTRKRFT Remix)
10. Mandarine Girl - Booka Shade

My Ground Rules

1) You may not ironically vote for Dipset. No sincere voting for Dipset either.

2) It's patently obvious Sufjan will take #1 album, so don't waste any coin voting for Illinoise. It's your money though.

3) If you are a PR firm buying these votes for clients, please send any and all promo CDs my way. Just make sure there are no holes drilled in the left hand side of the jewel case.

4) If you work for a major label, let me know if you have any copywriting work available. When I do album liner notes I generally get around sixteen dollars a word.

5) You might think it's cute to buy votes for "Trapped in the Closet". About 200 other indie nerds have already had that idea. Consider showing Johnny Crack, Pizazz!, or White Girls some love instead. Again, it's your money.

Click here to help feed a blogger
That Mix From the Other Day

It wasn't a test but some of you might have recognized a few songs off that Banana Nutrament Christmas Eve Mystery Mix I threw out there a few days ago. Below is the tracklisting with links to standalone posts. These are some of my favorite things we put up in 2005 (although very few are 2005 releases).

Daylight's for the Birds - Worlds Away (Rough Mix) post mp3
Nicky Siano - Move post mp3
Pointer Sisters - Pinball Number Count (DJ Food Re-edit) post mp3
DJ Ayres - I Shouldn't Have Done It/Hot Music post mp3
Poni Hoax - Budapest (Joakim Italo Dub) post mp3
Acid Test/Simple Minds - Test One/Theme For Great Cities post mp3
Psychic Ills - Another Day, Another Night post mp3
Boredoms - Jungle Taitei (Laughter Robot's Hemp Mix) Remixed by Yann Tomita post mp3
Disco Dub Band - For the Love of Money post mp3
Paul Haig - Mad Horses post mp3
Get Off the Internet

The font of all knowledge that is this blog has run a little dry in the last week, it's the holidays and I've been traveling. But six days without a post, it's not like we abandoned the damn thing.

So, as a Christmas Eve advent calendar of sorts, here's a mix of some of our favorite tracks this year featured on Banana Nutrament. Thought it sounded fun, apparently Molars had the same thing in mind. Could be nice if a few other blogs will pick up on this.

I'll reveal track listings in a few days; one warning, I am in no way a DJ, and this is a real Frankensteinian grafting of different sorts of sounds. This would be a great gift if you know someone allergic to beatmatching. But I think it represents what we try to put up here week in and week out.

Banana Nutrament Christmas Eve Mystery Mix
sorry for the YouSendIt styles, I"ll re-up it when I'm back in civilization
Obligatory Yuletide Post

But with style.. and panache.

Can - Little Star Of Bethlehem (Alternate Version)

Little know fact that Can's concert riders specified four gallons of egg nog in their dressing room at all times. Holger Czukay even went so far to invent a drink called bacon nog, but it wouldn't keep in hot summer months.

Christian Marclay - Mixing at the Merry Mixmas (11-19-01)

Caught Marclay perform at the Swiss Institute once, another time I heard him give a talk at Eyebeam. Have never made it to his annual Christmas event where he invites audience members to create audio collages from his collection of dinged up holiday records. Sounds fun.

Vince Guaraldi Trio - Heartburn Waltz
Too busy getting shopping done and ignoring the true meaning of Christmas to write a decent post today. But if a certain little red headed girl doesn't get her mittens, this Charlie Brown will be very forlorn.
MTA Mea Culpa

I jumped the gun there, maybe I wanted a transit strike all along..

In regards to that last post, I might have been a little scotched up last night, posting while watching the MTA/union negotiations on TV. Steve Wonder said "Don't Drink and Drive", but I say Jameson's plus blogging equals sheepish regret.

Quite a few other bloggers also posted bus/train/transportation themed posts. Fun stuff.

Can't believe I forgot to throw this one up last night:

Brooklyn Express - Trans Brooklyn Express
**Buy it here**
The MTA Ate My Balls

I hate all of you.

I hate you surly subway worker, stuck in a plexiglass box with your Faustian bargain of generous benefits and high salary, knowing one day you will be disembowled by robot conductors and computer replacements.

I hate you bedandruffed MTA bureaucrat, trapped in your Albany cubicle, only let loose to the Hyatt to negotiate a deal that will keep your needless job in place. I'm also guessing you donated to Pataki.

Banana Nutrament getting political again.

But only cos I have to lace up my boots, put on two coats, hat, mittens, and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge plus a few more miles to get to work.

Out Hud - The L Train Is a Swell Train and I Don't Want To Hear You Indies Complain
(noto bene, it's been ages since I lived near the L train)

Erlend Oye with Morgan Geist - Ghost Trains

Could be worse.
Bjorking with Barbara Gladstone

Interesting that music critics have been entirely indifferent to Bjork's recent soundtrack work. Sure, it's not a proper industry release with marketing budgets and all, but it has its moments, and should appeal to more than just art snobs and Bjork completists. I won't put up anything from it, isolated tracks would make even less sense than the totality of the album. So how about this banger?

Bjork - It's in Our Hands (Soft Pink Truth Remix)
**Get it from Amazon**

Years ago I had a run in with her husband's gallery, I had tried to get a hold of a sample of his early work and they wisely nixed the idea. This is back when I was a naive young pup overdosing on critical theory and people with berets.

Remember, don't say it "a ' vant-garde", it's pronounced "ah ' vant (flip scarf over left shoulder) garde".

I ended up getting the source material from some art video collector who had a decent Cremaster bootleg. The tedium of manually threading the tape under a magnet birthed "Erased Barney Video", skittering vertical hold, blue strobes, and all. I think I was plumb out of my mind back then.

Koala had tons more success with this appropriation/hijack. From the underground cassette tape that woke everyone up to this talents.

Kid Koala - Made From Bjork
**Off of Scratchcratchratchatch**

What a great series of reverse prank calls, I think I posted one of these this past Spring. And the victim's response is priceless, very Fluxus of him to go along with it.

Matt Besser - Bjork
**Available on his May I Help You (Dumbass)? recordings**

Invocations of Benign Gods

No accident both the following are the lead off tracks of their respective albums. Below are a pair of incantatory murmurings that preface the heavy shredding that soon follows.

Lovely stroboscopic cymbal splashes mixed with backward masked guitars, perfect for this weekend's bad acid trip:

Plastic Crimewave Sound - No Vision
**Buy it at Midheaven Mailorder**

Either Social Registry has the best ears out there or they have some sort of Midas-like touch on the musicians they nurture. Have yet to see them make a misstep:

Telepathe - Pet Communicator
**More at Social Registry**
E2-E4 Musings

When employing irresponsible Google journalism, you often come to strange forks in the road like this:

E2 E4 is computer version of popular mathematical game, created as office game. It's the game with good graphic and pleasant becalming music. E2 E4 consists of 5 locations each of which is another lever of difficulty. After loading the game you'll see the game field (a square) which consists of small squares. At the centre of the game field stands your figure (the horse), which you have to use to do several moves to open the picture hidden under the game field using the left button of the mouse. The number of moves and the picture are different for each location. Via Tucows

Eventually you'll find what you're after:

What does the album title E2-E4 mean?
There are three coincidences for the title:

* When the title came to Manuel's mind (1978) there was not yet a specific composition planed for it. He has watched the film Star Wars, in which there was acting a little robot with the name R2D2. This name has inspired him in fact.

* At the same time he was exploring his first Apple computer, trying to write his own programs and learning about computer languages which deal in their simplest form only with letters and numbers (hexcode, assembler).

* Finally, the title reminds on a common opening chess move, although the correct writing would be in small letters. And for Manuel this meant his "opening move" to release his first album under his name (no ASHRA, no ASH RA TEMPEL). Via Ash Ra Tempel FAQ

But then you end up bumping into strange stuff like this, I guess you have to e-mail them to find out what nonsense they're up to.

Of course, the real E2-E4 burst out Athena-like from the cleft brow of Manuel Gottsching's forehead. I've often enjoyed a few of
Ash Ra Tempel's more maximally out there records, insane jams, great cover art, and plenty of krautrock cred to hide your copy of American Beauty behind. If you're craving over the top Ash Ra style hippie drip, Gottsching's E2-E4 might flat out put you to sleep, a muted kaleidoscopic slumber in a sensory deprivation tank filled with briny amniotic fluid.

I remember once seeing a wooden Tinkertoy pseudo-computer housed at MIT that could beat anyone at tic-tac-toe. E2 E4 is constructed like a Lego thinking machine practicing chess strategies instead of studying up for its Turing test.

Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4 (excerpt)
This is a short excerpted portion, as the entire piece is almost an hour long, more info here

Original copies of E2-E4 command prices north of $100 due to its interesting distinction of being prized by both krautrock completists and house music collectors (E2-E4 being yet another secret weapon in Larry Levan's crate).

As might be expected for such a seminal electronic dance music jump off point, it has garnered tons of remixes and recontextualizations:

Basic Channel - E2-E4 Basic Reshape

and more recently,

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - E2-E4 Tribute

These two homage reworks play to the strengths of the original in different ways. BC pushes the bass frequencies to extremes, with only liminal snatches of the source patterns appearing. Lindstrom & Prins Thomas simply revel in moody atmospherics.

Eye from the Boredoms (again?) patched together an hour long DJ mix of E2-E4 inspired tracks, one of the better inclusions done by
Seiichi Yamamoto's Rovo project. This instrumental workout doesn't directly reference the source, but it is a pretty faithful krautrock workout.

Rovo - Catch and Release
More info on this Japanese E2-E4 tribute album here

This post would be lacking without a mention of Sueno Latino, a club track appropriating E2-E4 which was a number one in several European countries upon its 1989 release. I could never get into the original, it speeds things up too much for my taste. In many ways, this Cutmaster G version is a remix of a remix.

Sueno Latino - Sueno Latino (Cutmaster G Mix)
More info on the original Sueno Latino here

Here's a trip hop take on E2-E4. Maybe not essential, but still sort of interesting. Don't know of any other genre remakes or tributes. but I'm sure a couple are missing from this list.

Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4 (Jaywalk Tribute Remix)

NME Shenanigans

I don't know what all this business is with insinuations that the NME has somehow fixed their Best of 2005 Awards. I had no idea that tabloid sensationalists had ditched Rupert Murdoch to mudsling scoops in the online world.

Of course, err, Circulus deserves #47. Who are they again? And The Cribs are a hip hop group championed by grime bloggaz, right? The real outrage is We Are Scientists making the top 50. In our world, there can only be one Scientists.

Scientists - Psycho Cook Supreme
**But it at Midheaven Mailorder**

That was a horribly contrived segue, there are some great videos by the up and coming We are Scientists here and here. But truthfully, I still have no clue who Circulus or Cribs are.

The good news is we have found a band that could be the next favored sons of the NME. That is, if Pete Doherty ever shuffles off this mortal coil. Are there bookmaker odds on that yet? Well, not only are these fresh scrubbed Fire Engline lads from Scotland, but they have even dared to cover a Franz Ferdinand song.

Fire Engines - Jacqueline
**Buy Codex Teenage Premonition at Other Music**

Wait, how old are they?