Neil (nt) wrote,

My three favourite CD releases of the past six months

Monolake, Silence. Monolake is a German electronic duo (Robert Henke and his sidekick T++) who create music using laptops, Ableton Live software (Henke is one of its developers) and field recordings. Silence could be described as minimal techno, but it is less beat-oriented and more cool and spacious than their earlier works in that genre. Instrumental; no vocals except some synthesized speech in a few places.

Mermen, In God We Trust. The Mermen are a trio from Northern California led by Jim Thomas, who plays guitar, writes their tunes and produced this CD. This is their first release in almost 10 years. They are usually described as a psychedelic surf power trio, which is as good a description as any. You can hear echoes of The Byrds, Jerry Garcia and Neil Young, as well as the surf sounds of Dick Dale. Mostly, though, it just sounds like The Mermen. Great instrumental rock, melodic, dynamic and powerful, with layers of overdubbed guitars intertwined with the excellent drumming of Martyn Jones and bass of Allen Whitman.

The Blood of Heroes, The Blood of Heroes. This is a interesting mix of drum & bass, heavy rock, dub and reggae. I got it because of the participation of Bill Laswell, who plays bass. The album concept was apparently inspired by the movie of the same name, a 1989 post-apocalyptic flick starring Rutger Hauer. I haven't seen the movie, but it's easy to imagine the music as the soundtrack to something like that. Definitely on the aggressive side, but not grating. The disparate elements all fit together to create a strong album that doesn't sound quite like anything I've heard before. I'm mostly into purely instrumental music lately, but I really like the vocals of Dr. Israel, which work perfectly here.

  • (no subject)

    In Calgary, Exploring the Cultural Side of ‘Cowtown’ (link is to The New York Times) Pretty good article, although I've never seen Calgarians…

  • Broken trees

    A few examples of trees broken by the accumulation of snow, as mentioned in my last post. The snow is gone, but the damage remains.

  • (no subject)

    I drove around town today and was shocked at the number of trees that had been damaged by the heavy snowfall earlier in the week. It's too early in…

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