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Random Stabbings Part 1

img  Tobias

Kultur Shock "Kultura Diktatura" (Koolarrow Records)
Once upon a time, a five-star loon named Gino Yevdjevich fled Croatia for the marginally friendlier confines of Seattle, fully intent on creating the ultimate international party album, period. And there you have it; The End. There isn't one corner of the music world that doesn't receive a skull-rattling Bugs Bunny mega-smooch from this 7-piece outfit, some of the casualties being mariachi, Japanese standards, Balkan folk straight out of The Wolf Man, Bollywood show tunes and old-time industrial metal ("Morto" pulls off a daring daylight robbery of Ministry's riff-bank to filch the guitar line from "Dead Guy"). Despite the tallness of the order it all works, curse their rotten, bug-eyed, mustachioed souls. If this isn't the most universally accessible album ever recorded I'm a Hooters waitress.

Stace England "Greetings From Cairo, Illinois" (Gnashville Sounds Records)
Cairo (pronounced "KAY-ro," like the syrup, not the ancient city in which Westerners risk life and limb nowadays just for buying Big Macs), Illinois is a (sadly) non-fictional town in its death throes, long rife with corruption, racism and limp tourist attractions ("Grant Slept Here"). In his newest album, world-traveler Stace England attempts to humiliate this dreadful little burg into oblivion once and for all through the use of barbershop ("Goin' Down to Cairo"), country, American folk (the real deal, similar to the tunes you hear during the closing credits of Deadwood), ear-inspiring Hendrix cameos ("Far From the Tree") and the occasional Dylan singalong ("Equal Opportunity Lynch Mob"). With 57 smart-assed guest musicians and a chortling LA-based label diving onto the pigpile, one almost wants to call in UN peacekeepers, even if they’d most likely suggest carpeting the place with bunker-busters.

Anaphylaxis "Noise For Lovers" (Parasomnic Records)
Jason Coffman's experiments in “tasteful noise” include delta-wave frequencies, ghostly space-cadet-chickie moaning and other things - probably slo-mo lion roars, a playing card being scraped over an SM-57 microphone and who knows what else. Overall the album title does live up to its name; you have to wait around a bit before being subjected to any caustic nails-on-chalkboard racket (the final minute of "Hopeless" for instance). Lots of time is spent teasing the listener with actual melody before the mood and key change drastically, though not the tempo so much. An innovative emotional circus that poses the real threat of turning your E-tard party into the Continental Congress.

Robotzen "The Violence Factors In" (Ominous Collective Records)
The danger of standing outside a club and handing a rock critic a laughable excuse for a synth-pop CD featuring a trout-brained lead singer who was apparently only given the job because she looks like Molly Parker – and proceeding to assault said critic's Biggie-Sized ego by not giving said critic the barest shred of special attention for being a press member – is that said critic may retaliate later on by revealing to his readers that the band has released a laughable excuse for a synth-pop CD featuring a trout-brained lead singer who was apparently only given the job because she looks like Molly Parker. Please make a note of it.

Combat Astronomy
"The Dematerialised Passenger" (Discus Records)
Comprised of violent experimental jazz-prog suitable for the downtown Baghdad Barnes & Noble, this transatlantic (St Paul, MN/Sheffield UK) endeavor is ably powered by James Huggett's wounded-rhino abuse of electric bass, Martin Archer's mosquito-like sax-runs ("Collapsing Runways"), the mournful bassoon of Mick Beck ("Solar Guitars") and some clear-as-a-bell settling of the tiny studio itself - you can almost count the nails in the drywall in between the fits of rancor.

Noise Unit "Voyeur" (Metropolis Records)
Imagine primal, big-budget soundtrack compositions written specifically for scenes focused on the world's richest, sexiest vampire couple as they drive a Porsche convertible along the coastline and you have a rough idea of the smoking techno put forth here by Bill Leeb (Front Line Assembly) and Chris Peterson. The symphonic laser blasts and John Bonham drums of jump-off track "Illicit Dreams" lead into electronic body music of the purest sort - the very essences of anger, sensuality and human biorhythms are grokked with omniscient synths, swooshing whispers and fine-tuned programming. If you're not pleasantly blown away by their implicit introduction to the future of loudmouth beat-box rap ("Liberation"), the duo have officially called dibs on the most recklessly explicit sample available to man: a gonzo porn flick – the specific looped sound of which I’ll leave to mature imaginations – provides the undergroove to "Tighten Up."

By Eric W. Saeger

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