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Review: Nobukazu Takemura Songbook

Label: Bubble Core

Songbook is a tale sung in the native tongue of Moondonia. The mushroom people of this purple land live in lakes of rainbow glass. They pluck silver grapes from translucent octopi arms and whistle all the while. Nobukazu Takemura and his vocal sidekick Aki Tsuyoko bring Earth its first taste of the Moondonian dialect. It comes in soft, circular fragments, like the lullabies of baby pearls. Melodic lyrics float on soft cushions of analog synthesis and kaleidoscopic vibraphone sputters. Syncopated drum grooves bounce electric raindrops off glowing gopher heads. Read more » 

Review: Vessel Dreaming in Paris

Label: Expanding

Stealing fire from Warp and a page from Aphex Twin, Vessel cook up highly unoriginal IDM. Braindaince wouldn't be braindance if it wasn't a little dreamy, but these guys are laid back to the point of coma-inducement. They embellish their songs with the latest in squishy glitch drums, but include unneeded electro keys that destroy the shiny-new-sound feel that marks IDM's experimentalism. Dreaming in Pairs sounds like it should have been served around 1998-it's basically a great dish ruined by being left out in the cold. Read more » 

Review: Supersilent 6

Label: Rune Grammofon

Supersilent has always been difficult to label. Their darkly atmospheric mix of electronics (processing, vintage synthesizers and the like) and acoustic instruments (trumpet, drums and the occasional guitar) seems to fall somewhere in the vast no-man's land separating post-rock, out jazz, and abstract electronic music. This fourth release by the Norwegian quartet finds the group in fine, brooding form. Read more » 

Review: Styrofoam I'm What's There to Show That Something's Missing

Label: Morr

Arne van Petegem was once easy to overlook in the middle of Morr's roster of mellow, blissfully melancholy electronicists. No more-this time around, he keeps the slowed-down programming and DSP jabber, and slots in his own vocals. Van Petegem's wan, human voice is front-and-center amidst instrumentals as goopy and complex as any Mouse on Mars tunes, creating a perfect abstract pop album, the inverse negative of Schneider TM's carefree Zoomer from last year. Read more » 

Review: Sterling S/t

Label: File 13

Screw Detroit-Chicago is the place to be if you're an indie music lover. Now File Thirteen Records has thrown its hat into the hype ring with the self-titled offering from Sterling, and the fit is formidable. Sterling's style sticks faithfully to the angular post-rock path taken by Godspeed You Black Emperor! Read more » 

Review: Odd Nosdam No More Wig for Ohio

Label: Anticon

One of the savants behind the awesome cLOUDDEAD and the awful Reaching Quiet, odd nosdam keeps his music as lowercase as his name and titles. He also makes eccentricity his guiding principle, which is why No More Wig For Ohio is hip-hop's answer to The Faust Tapes. The first half of Ohio has more in common with Faust's Dadaist collage aesthetic and the pranksterish genre-hopping of Evolution Control Committee and Nurse With Wound than with underground-hip-hop orthodoxy. It's one fucked-up trip. Read more » 

Review: Sidestepper 3 A.M. (In Beats We Trust)

Label: Palm

While many producers and DJs are content to pilfer a culture's musical heritage merely by sifting through stacks of vinyl, for others the allure of the heartland itself is impossible to deny. Richard Blair is one of the latter, a journeyman Brit who took off for the warmer climes of Columbia and Jamaica in search of inspiration. Sidestepper is the result, and it calls to mind similar fusions by acts like Up, Bustle and Out, the alter-ego of fellow Englishman Rupert Mould, who traveled to Spain and Cuba for his own recordings. Read more » 

Review: Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band A Special Album

Label: Emperor Norton

Ironic nu-soul lounge of decidedly Northern European flavor, this tongue-in-cheek excursion fits the late-'60s early-'70s nuance with a fondue-like catchiness. A tiki-bar aesthetic wrapped in the hipster knowingness of cosmopolitan living, the electronics are nearly Jimi Tenor in style, indie rock in arrangement. The final production is topped with a dash of buoyant flashiness. Perfectly in tune with the discriminating yet mockingly authoritative party host, this CD would do justice on any in-the-know's play list. Read more » 

Review: Mouse on Mars Glam

Label: Thrill Jockey

It's understandable why Josh Evans rejected the Mouse on Mars soundtrack for his film, Glam. Imagine audiences flinching from the sounds of mechanical dragonflies zig-zagging on a pond to flee from a blaring boombox nearby...while they try to seriously watch Tony Danza(!) slug a transvestite. This 1997 movie with such brilliant scenes fell straight into the video mausoleum. MoM then released their project in a scant, vinyl-only supply on their Sonig label. Thrill Jockey now reissues Glam, leaving more of us with the mice men's most accomplished work. Read more » 

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