Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Atom (bang)

The Big Bang
Sound Emitter

Atom (bang) comes from our very own neighborhood. Well, by neighborhood I mean here in Florida. This Orlando musician by the name of Atom has truly outdone himself with a mind blowing ride of electronic music that crosses genres and invents new ones. First off, let me say that the cd packaging was simply beautiful and extremely professional. It caught my eye right off and I was hoping that the music was as equally impressive. My fears were put to rest on the very first track "Running Out Of Time". A powerful catchy groove hit me full force with dark menacing synths prowling on top of it all. This was going to be good. The second track "Poseur" continued with a similar vibe adding repeated sampled vocals as well. However, Atom moves all over the board incorporating industrial, ambient, and dark atmospheres to take you on an amazing sonic experience. The beautiful melodic "Alone" really does reflect the title of the song perfectly, while "Intermezzo" sounds like something taken from a sci-fi soundtrack. The end track "Drama Trauma" turns the tide again with sexy female groans and voices over a sinister, erotic club anthem. Atom (bang) is a true masterpiece of electronic music that shows the talent of a very gifted composer who is sure to turn heads with this release.

- Craig Harvey

Science For Girls / Eccotronic

Science For Girls
Self Titled
BMI Music

Flow Motion
Kiite Records

After listening to each of these two releases, I decided it fitting to review them together even though they are on different labels. They both have quite a bit in common. Each one is packaged in beautiful tri-fold digipacks and are brimming with lush electronic grooves that bring together ambient, jazz, pop and world elements. And finally both are the brainchild of two excellent musician/composers (Cato - Eccotronic and Darren Solomon - Science for Girls). However, while the two share so many similar styles they still travel their own individual paths in many respects.

Science For Girls has a differen't vocalist for each and every track (with the exception of the instrumental "You'll Never Know" which has a cool minimal breakbeat cruising under the waves of dreamy synths. Another great track was "Northern Lights" with a crunchy/static beat that carried a truly catchy tune. "Australia" was my least favorite song as I found the lyrics cheesy and the vocals annoying. However the rest of this album is wonderful with a relaxing vibe and soothing vocals.

Eccotronic on the other hand focuses mainly on the vocals of Jenny Campmany, who does a majority of the singing on this album. Her voice has a sleepy, yet sexy feel to it and is a perfect companion to these downtempo tracks. There are more instrumentals numbers as well. Also, the song structures and beats feel like something Boards Of Canada would put out vs. the more jazzy element found on S.F.G. I really loved "Drift", "Caesar Redux" and the spoken word on "Post Scriptum". Just like S.F.G., the entire album is very well crafted and equally enjoyable. Both of these releases I would highly recommend for fans of chill out and downtempo music.

- Craig Harvey

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


The Best of Insane Clown Posse
Island Records/Psychopathic Records

I don’t know where to begin with how I feel about the release of Jugganauts, Best of The Insane Clown Posse. As a fan there is just to much to many good things I want to say and just so little time. So on that note lets begin.
This album gives you great tracks from two Joker Cards such as Great Melinko, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, and both the Bizzar, and Bizaar albums. It is also a great reminder of a small piece of history of this group. (For those that are unaware of the groups history, Great Melinko took Insane Clown Posse to the public with their legal battle with The Walt Disney company over censorship. When Disney’s record label, Hollywood Records refused to release the album unless the duo made drastic changes to the material. The boys took their battle to the media and the rest is history.)
From a lyrical point of view I laughed at their tongue in cheek views on violence. Tracks like Bitches (with help from Ol’ Dirty Bastard), Cherry Pie, and Fuck The World, are littered with violent imagery and lyrics. This has been a staple of the group. While other tracks such as Hall of Illusions, Let’s Go all The Way, Tilt-a-Whirl, and Piggys are a reminder of the issues of prejudice, child and spousal abuse, drug use, and ultimate goal of unity. Lastly, The are there trade mark tracts such as Hokus Pokus, The Neddin Game and What is a Juggalo? just bring a smile to your face.
The arrangements from these tracks have a definite diverse sound. There is a mixture of rap and hard rock through out their songs. With the occasional comedy bit thrown in fro a few laughs.
The only down side to this album is that I had hoped there would have been other hits from the other Joker Cards, but we can only hope that we will receive this.
If you have never listened to This group, Have no idea what they are about or who the hell they are, then start with this album, it gives you a good taste for what they have to offer, and leaves you wanting more.

- Kitten

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Two Gallants

Two Gallants
Saddle Creek

I just can't figure this record out. In contrast to their sweaty, heartbreakingly human, oft triumphant live shows - which apparently leave few doubters, apparently soul-less - I'm having trouble with "Two Gallants." Sometimes I love it. Sometimes it's infuriating. Sometimes I keep rewinding a certain part. Sometimes I just want he record to be over so I can put on some black metal. We'll start with the bad first. I just can't get over the fucking feeling that they're holding something back. Maybe the studio doesn't suit them like the stage, but I find myself aching for this feeling of
connection that just feels once removed as I play through the songs on "Two Gallants" yet again. Also, I mentioned this in a prior review, but oft the duo hew just a little too close to (a better) Soul Asylum and a (spooked, minimalist) Nirvana - and I just don't want to hear stuff like that again. Now what's this about the good? Yeah, you heard right. I love the way Two Gallants do love songs. It's more courtly, more Southern Gentlemen or beat-down troubadour who still takes off his hat when a lady walks by and I appreciate that. So at odds with all the self-righteoius whining you too often get from young male singers of a certain age.

The songs are sad, waaaaayyyyy sad. Don't misunderstand, but the language, the tone, the tongues. They're of a different time. Ditto with the execution and very crafting of the songs, they're more heartfelt, unselfconscious, but very much rooted in fading storyteller and worksong traditions (without the muso crap - punk did happen - did it ever - in the Two Gallants' sideways realm, but so did, say, Howlin' Wolf). I like, no, I love the last song - I love how they do a false doo-wop style/countryfied coda of "my baby's gone's" and then freak me the fuck out with a frenzied thrashing of that selfsame coda that's like lightning bolts in my ears and fingertips. I love the fucking drummer. I love the way the young singer sings so deftly about growing old far too quickly and I love how I believe it. How I do go on. Tell me now, what do you think of the Two Gallants?

- Matthew Moyer