Listed: Broker/Dealer + Abunai!/The Lothars
Equipped with an array of samplers, sequencers and vintage synthesizers, San Francisco wunderkinds Broker/Dealer make catchy minimal electronic music equally suited for the den or the dancefloor. Simultaneously channeling the aquatic dub of Berlin's Chain Reaction label and the genre-defining minimal techno of the Kompakt imprint, on their debut full-length, Initial Public Offering, B/D recalls German electronic artists like Mike Ink, not to mention Metro Area’s innovative electro-disco.
Top ten sounds and one great thing for each of the other senses from Broker/Dealer
2. Metaboman - "im gelegenheitscamp" – Not sure what style of music this is, but it's like nothing I’ve ever heard and that’s usually a good thing.
3. Wighnomy Brothers - "1974" (Freude-am-Tanzen) – Still can't find this 12" anywhere, but while I hunt high and low for it, the mp3 samples on the website will do.
4. 1983 dj mix by Tony Humphries on KISS FM NYC. – A friend of ours was on tour with The Call in 1983. While driving around New York in the tour van, he recorded the stuff he was hearing on the radio. Among the tapes is this amazing mix by Tony Humphries that just never gets old. Hits by Fonda Rae, the Human League, Shirley Lite, Michael Jackson all blend together in a crazy megamix from back in the early days of DJing.
5. Yarbrough & Peoples - "Dont Stop the Music' – Great rediscovered song here which features either Yarbrough or Peoples singing, "I just wanna rock you, all night long" just like Alicia Keys does in that Eve song "Gangsta Lovin’". The fact that Ms. Keys is referencing this classic cut earns her some respect.
6. Fresh Air with Terry Gross – Shedding all kinds of light on the most interesting subjects – I try and listen every day.
7. John Phillips - The Wolfking of L.A. – Great songs about some crazy shit. How about this for a lyric, "Genvieve lay bleeding in my basement, misconceiving life again. Up on the sidewalk, her replacement waiting to be skinned." Next book I read is gonna be this guy's biography.
8. NRBQ - Scraps – This record just keeps finding its way back on to my turntable. Once there, it usually stays for a week or two.
9. The Court & Spark – Some good old friends making music-making look easy.
10. Thunder – Sitting here thinking of things that sound good and I'm hearing thunder outside. It almost never happens in San Francisco and when it does I'm reminded how much I miss it.
Although Abunai! broke up late last summer after five-plus years, their final recording Two Brothers is just a few months old, and they're also on the Pull Up The Paisley Covers comp. Their rigor mortis will remain unfinalized, though, until the end of the year, when Emperor Jones will include Abunai! on a killer comp – 20 bands strong, including Kinski, Acid Mothers Temple, Bardo Pond, Circle, ST37, SubArachnoid Space, Vocokesh, Overhang Party, Primordial Undermind, Escapade, Speaker\Cranker, and Fuzzhead.
The Lothars began six-plus years ago as a "quirky" avant-pop experiment; they've since evolved into an electronic chamber-drone improv unit of considerable mesmeric heft. They've played at all five of the continent-hopping Terrastock festivals, and recently performed a live score to the 1929 Russian silent film Man With A Movie Camera. By some odd twist, The Lothars' current album Connected (issued in a limited edition of 50) was just reviewed in the May 2003 issue of Playboy (!). What's next -- playing Hef's Halloween party?
Kris Thompson, organist/synth-player of Abunai! and thereminist of The Lothars participated in this week's Listed
1. 13th Floor Elevators - Psychedelic Sounds of...(Collectables) - The pinnacle of ’60s garage rock, in my stoopid opinion... raw, passionate, and tripped-out-without-sacrificing-immediacy. "Roller Coaster" is a supremely definitive acid garage number. I suspect that band guru/jug-player Tommy Hall wrote some of the lyrics that people think Roky wrote – but whatev...
2. Can – Of course there was "jamming" before Can's debut in '68, but they broke through the blues barricades into brave new improv spaces that were still very "rock". Maybe Pink Floyd tried such a thing first, but Can really picked up the ball and ran with it. It's hard to recommend just one album, although you can't really go wrong with Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, or Future Days. [I got to play theremin onstage with (Can vocalist) Damo Suzuki this past winter in New York – a really great experience. Gary Lucas (from Beefheart's Magic Band) and Parts & Labor were also part of Damo's "Network" that night.]
3. Red Crayola - Parable of Arable Land (Collectables) – Light-years ahead of its time – "Hurricane Fighter Plane" is a monument of experimental psych-rock. A separate free-form recording session with 80 freaks just "being" forms the chaotic soundtrack that weaves in and out of the more "composed" songs.
4. Bobb Trimble - Harvest of Dreams (1982 LP, self-released) – A lonesome, but tuneful howl from the empty wilderness of suburban psychosis. The multi-layered studio sounds evocatively draw you into Bobb's unique dreamworld, with episodes both anguished and hopeful. At once very real and very unreal. Actually singled out by some collectors as "the best psych album of the 80s", most of it can be found on the better-available '95 anthology CD Jupiter Transmission (Parallel World).
5. Ghost (from Japan) live – I've seen four shows of theirs, all great – and all different. The one exception might be the time when they were only given about 20 minutes to play. Miss them at your soul's peril.
6. Dub – I'm not a big reggae fan overall, but I love good dub stuff from folks like Mad Professor, Twilight Circus, Lee Perry, Suns of Arqa, African Head Charge, and King Tubby – the first three of which I've seen live. Especially on a good sound system, the smooth deep bass & trippy FX engage the body & mind simultaneously for a unique audio/human interface. [All of Abunai! (esp. Dan & I) are into it, which led to such a heavy dub influence on the "version" mix of "Two Brothers".]
7. Amon Düül II - Yeti (Repertoire) - If I had to shed all but one German ’70s record, this might well be the one – crazily swooning, swooping and jamming it's way to acid-prog Valhalla.
8. Brother JT - Maybe We Should Take Some More (Badman) – "It says somewhere..." ...that melody, structure, and good songwriting squat on the other side of an imaginary axis from mind-blowing trippy chaos, and that to use more of one is necessarily to surrender some contribution of the other. JT runs both faucets freely, and (surprisingly) the results are never overblown. [Abunai! had a swell time being his backup band for a Boston gig in late 2000 (looking for tapes if they're out there...). It seemed inevitable, I guess, since several of us had been hopping onstage with his band Vibrolux for some time leading up to that.]
9. Wire - Chairs Missing (Restless) – Sounds corny, but this is a vital moment for a vital band – think of it as a "proto-Indo-European" for all manner of subsequent musical language ("post-rock", experimental rock, goth...). Here they've transitioned from the punky post-punk of the first two albums into somewhat headier realms – yet never sacrificing their keen sense of control.
10. Olivia Tremor Control - Dusk At Cubist Castle (Flydaddy) – If you're like me, you often ponder things like: What if the Beatles had knocked over a nitrous truck and then snuck into Abbey Road after hours with a junior engineer to fully explore their "I Am The Walrus" direction? Well, that only partly describes the joy of an album like this, whose fab sound-dreams are stretched onto a four-track template with day-glo paint dripping off the edges.
...and one to grow on:
11. La Monte Young's Dream House, 275 Church Street (3rd Floor), NYC – A great place to spend an hour, a day – whatever. A polychannel sound-art installation collab between him and Marian Zazeela resides there for your rapture and transport.
By Dusted Magazine