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Posts Tagged ‘Aka Moon’

I am officially a Dimeadozen junkie

Friday, November 11th, 2005

Having moved about six weeks ago (locally in Washington, DC), I only just — two days ago — got a broadband connection set up at my new house. And I’m relieved to have it again, not so I can check e-mail or the weather or the news or music sites, no… but so I can get back to my Dimeadozen addiction. For those of you who haven’t gotten with the program, Dimeadozen (hereafter just “Dime”) is a carefully-controlled bittorrent site on which users post live recordings — but any hint of any commercially-released material, or material from bands who publicly condemn live recordings, is immediately removed, so theoretically it’s all legit. Further, only lossless formats are allowed (ie mostly FLAC files — MP3s are allowed only if there is no lossless original recording).

In just a couple months on Dime, I’ve discovered recordings of bands I honestly never expected to ever, ever hear live recordings of. To wit: Art Bears, Weidorje, Aksak Maboul, Happy Family, Shub Niggurath, Änglagård, even some zeuhl band so obscure no one has ever heard of them (and they never released any recordings), Evohé. It’s amazing how these unlikely, decades-old recordings of unbelievably obscure bands come out of the woodwork. There have also been plenty of recent recordings of equally-obscure modern prog bands, including a bunch from NEARfest 2005, as well as from various avant-rock festivals in Europe.

Probably my favorite finds, though, are a couple of immaculate soundboard recordings of Belgian avant-jazzers Aka Moon with guests: one from 1997 with African percussionist Doudou N’diaye Rose (who also collaborated, decades earlier, with Toubabou), and one from 2002 with a turntablist who just rips. Great stuff!

In fact there’s so much great music to be found on Dime that I have been having a hard time balancing my listening between new CDs and new live recordings. I’ve never been a huge fan of live recordings simply because there’s so much music out there to discover that I always kind of thought it a waste of time to listen to 20 different versions of the same songs; but when you get recordings of such obscure bands who are supposedly great live, it’s tough to resist. And I’m not regretting my time spent with most of this stuff!

What’s spinning, July 17 edition

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

It’s list time, because I’m insomniatic. I am currently discovering or rediscovering:

  • Aka Moon - Guitars
    pleasant, accessible Belgian avant(ish) jazz, the basic sax/bass/drums trio plus three guitarists, that hasn’t quite sunk in with me yet
  • Scott Amendola Band - Cry
    less pleasant but still accessible West Coast US avant jazz built around a cover of a Bob Dylan song (that is actually my least favorite piece on this album)
  • Il Berlione - Il Berlione
    crazy Japanese prog/fusion occupying a middle ground somewhere between Happy Family and Tipographica in terms of complexity and wacked-outness
  • Dälek - From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots
    aggressive avant/underground hip-hop on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label, with a seriously abrasive 12-minute noise experiment right in the middle of the song order
  • Daniel Denis - Les Eaux Troubles
    second solo album from the Univers Zero bandleader. Better than Sirius and the Ghosts, his first, with a more fully fleshed-out sound
  • Dungen - Ta det Lugnt
    fuzzed-out ’70s airy-fairy Swedish psych album from… 2004. Neo-prog for hipsters!
  • Faun Fables - Family Album
    schizophrenically eclectic “folk” with SGM frontman Nils Frykdahl, fronted by an impressively powerful and versatile female vocalist
  • The Flying Luttenbachers - Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder
    love the title… brutal prog at its noisiest; definitely less accessible than Infection and Decline, but maybe that’s just because there’s no Magma cover this time around
  • Hail - Kirk
    as Alex Temple once said… Susanne Lewis (Thinking Plague) makes a lo-fi indie-rock record
  • Nazca - Nazca
    like Univers Zero circa 1313, only from Mexico, all acoustic, and not as good; this bored the crap out of me when I first heard it, but it’s finally growing on me
  • Various - Unsettled Scores
    two-disc compilation of Cuneiform artists covering material by other Cuneiform artists… neat!
  • Zs - Zs
    dual sax, dual guitar, dual drums attack, not nearly as aggressive as you might expect given its brutal-prog heritage; often has very much of a somewhat dry chamber-classical feel

I’ve been on a CD-buying binge and some the fruits of it are above. Others listed above are albums I’ve had for a while but just haven’t quite connected with. Some reviews will result, to be sure. Right now I’m particularly taken with Il Berlione and From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots. The latter is a hip-hop album so be warned, although it is definitely notable that Dälek is one of the more experimental underground hip-hop artists out there, and last year released a collaborative album with none other than Faust — an album that I have not yet heard, but remedying that is a priority.