Thursday, February 20, 2014


VA - GROUND ZERO NYC 2013 LP (Toxic State) 
Toxic State releases are the complete opposite to the hip and trendy sound of New York's current underground scene. The label documents the orginal raw, unpolished power of punk and hardcore. Inventive silkcreen artworks and the charm of a lo-fi tape production are two main characteritsica of a Toxic State record. "Ground Zero NYC 2013" documents today's New York punk and hardcore scene and it sounds a bit like a modern equivalent to "New York Thrash". You get fourteen tracks by fourteen bands and every single track is highly recommended. The compilation starts with La Misma, who play fast, snotty punkrock with some hints of garage and vocals sung in Portugese. Deformity crank out one dirty piece of rock'n'roll fronted by super gruff vocals. The Nomad tune is heavily infused by Japanese noisy hardcore simular to Confuse and Gai. Goosebumps recall the wild blasting hardcore of classic bands like The Fix, Koro and The Neos. Black Boot find a good balanca between frantic speed and powerful midtempo parts. Putrida sound like a product of classic Spanish and Japanese hardcore, so if you like both MG15 and Gauze you won't be disappointed here. The a-side ends with Anasazi, who are one of today's most exciting reincarnations of death-rock. Murderer sound like their track has been recorded 35 years earlier. The Mad and The Reactors wouldn't have done it any better. Next, Sad Boys  dish up raw and fast '82 UK style pogo punk in the vein of Vice Squad. Bort Gang remind me of classic Italian hardcore groups like Indigesti, Wretched and Declino. Crazy Spirit are probably the best known band on this compilation. They blast through a wild and blown out "The Germs on speed" punk anthem fronted by totally insane vocals. If you own any of Perdition's previous releases, you'll know, that they are one of today's best d-beat driven noisy hardcore groups and this song is no exception. The Dawn Of Humans tune delivers weird punk sounding like The Minutemen on hard drugs trying to be Negative Approach. The compilation ends with Hank Wood And The Hammerheads, who fuse the energy of 70s punk with the sleaziness of The Stooges. Get this this killer compilation! (Listen to it here)

VA - LIFT IT UP VOLUME 2 (Gutfeeling)
Generally, my typical musical horizon ranges from the 1960's to the present days, but of course there has also been written a lot of great music during the periods before. This compilation is a great example and it's a good basis to expand your taste of music. It features songs mastered from old shellac singles originally released in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s of the past century. The included bands and artist offer a colouful mixture of jazz, country, blues, r&b, swing and folk. Most of them are from the USA, but there also some French, Cuban and Danish artists included here. It's a true plessure to listen to the old, rough mono productions. All music still sounds fresh today and the label name totally fulfills its promises: this is good-feel music at the highest level. You get one song by each of the following groups: Slim and Slam, Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, Bloom Rub, Tony Murena et son Ensemble Swing, Frank Ferera, Lightnin´ Hopkins, Lecuona Cuban Boys, Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchstra featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Harlem Kiddies med Vokal-Trio, Mickey Katz Mickey, Carl Kress & Dick McDonough, Al Miller & His Market Street Boys, Oscar Aleman Trio and Tampa Red. The LP comes with linernotes and informations about all songs and artists. (Listen to it here)

This double LP compilation was quite an eye opener for me. I haven't known any of the included artist before, but after listening to it I knew, that I've missed an important chapter of music history. All French artists and groups included are heavily influenced by the sound of American revolutionary jazz and it's radical will to political change. Just like the black power movement this French free Jazz scene of the 1970s used music to destroy the established order and to create something new. The result sounds like a product of a radical search for something completely new, that sets up a connection between French chanson roots and the open-minded spirit of jazz music. That's how the recordings adventure into new territories combining sophisticated lyrics with gripping delivery, afro-beats, experimental multi-instrumentalism and some psychedelic influences. Most of the songs are focused on the charismatic spoken poetry. While I am able to appreciate the musical side to those songs, I wish I could understand much of the lyrics, but unfortunately I don't speak French. I'm sure, that I miss something great. The compilation includes songs by the following bands and artists:Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Brigitte Fontaine & Areski Belkacem, Atarpop 73 & Le Collectif Le Temps Des Cerises, RK Nagati, Frederic Rufin & Raphael Lecomte, Francois Tusques, Mahjun, Full Moon Ensemble, Baroque Jazz Trio, Michel Roques, Chene Noir and Beatrice Arnac. All killer, no filler and you'll start collecting their LPs after listining to this impressing compilation. A must have! (Listen to it here)

Denmark's Posh Isolation played a prominent role in the development of "mysterious guy hardcore" (what a stupid name for a genre), but in the last couple of years the label has adopted a new musical approach focused on electronic music and postpunk. The cold, gloomy and mysterious mood is the only constant that remained. "Rosehip, Scallop, Dancer" was compiled over the last three years and features ten artist with influences ranging from synth-pop to wave, postpunk, industrial, techno and noise. The LP kicks off with Street Drinkers, who sound like a slowmotion version of 80s UK wave with haunting vocals simular to Ian Curtis. Kallarbarnen write music based on a right instinct for improvisations and a threatening mood. Croation Amor fuse samples of flowing water with warm and dreamy synth-pop sounds. "We Lose Them Through Our Hands" by Marching Church leads into cold wave-drone territory. The a-side ends with Var, who contribute an instrumental tune, that balances between wave and pumping techno sounds. The flipside begins with Sand Circles, who underlay ice-cold synth-pop with incomprehensible vocal parts. White create disturbing and noisy drone sounds. Next Amphetamine Logic offer a scary industrial-noise sound collage. Age Coin recall the sound of early techno while adding a dark feel to their pounding beats. Last but not least White Void are comparable with a more noisy version of The Smiths. (Listen to it here)