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Random Stabbings 8

img  Tobias

Subthunk “You Should’ve Been Here Yesterday”  (Ureneely Recordings)
The next generation’s Quentin Tarantino would cartwheel for joy at the thought of a band like this – crunchy, woozy, compressed beat-box techno with a tilted-room 60s side, sung by Lisa Moore as if she were mocking Dido sprawled on a couch laying down her lines between swiffs off a five-dollar jug of zinfandel.  The fact that it’s soundtrack-ready hasn’t been lost on LA bloodsuckers – previous material has been used as background hipness in peer-pressure soaps Boston Legal and Six Feet Under. Order at

Chiasm “Relapse” (COP International Records)
A fair-to-middling techno sole-proprietorship, Chiasm spotlights Michigan’s Emileigh Rohn, posed on her album cover as an anarchinatrix in paramilitary Gap gear, poorly accessorized with a non-threatening doe-eyed stare.  She’s leveling a pistol at you in the photo, which, it would stand to reason, is fair warning that the listener is about to expose his or her ears to a tall glass of buzz-and-boom kick-butt.  Kickoff track “Embryonic,” however, skulks around packing naught but a load of stock goth tuneage and Chuck E Cheese death fixation, after which it lays down with its paws up expecting a vigorous belly rub for performing those rudimentary tricks.  The big picture isn’t altogether awful, though, and indeed much of it – the sexy trance of “Rewind” most of all – would fit the bill when the deejay is of an orgying mind.  What’s not great are Rohn’s tiresome flails at KMFDM-hardass sentiments; although she’d love to terrorize the countryside, her strengths lie in cream-puff technopop. In the next life maybe. Order at

Alif Tree "French Cuisine" (Compost Records)
French soundtrack go-to-guy Tree flogs his espresso-beatnik jazz manga with static spitballs and synth-knob-diddling that parallels a school bully pulling the wings off butterflies.  Ravings include the Sylvia Plath-esque piano/bolero-guitar duel “Belle” and an unwieldy 60s sci-fi philharmonic loop straight out of Fantastic Voyage drowning in scratchy bust-a-beats in “Enough.” Order at

Stromkern “Light It Up” (WTii Records)
Although it isn’t anomalous to catch strong whiffs of metal wafting out of today’s kraut-techno, urbania was a resource woefully underemployed prior to the hip-hoppish ranting dotting this follow-up to last year’s widely applauded EP.  Fleshed out nicely with plenty-enough daredevil risks, a haunting piano layer reminiscent of the main theme to Road to Perdition (“Forgiven”) can be found among assorted other goth and low-BPM accoutrements. Order at

Girls on Film "Danceteria" (Nativesun Records)
Or Soccer Moms Gone Wild. Had Alicia Bridges fronted Flock of Seagulls the excretions might have sounded like those of this quartet of Tallahassee babes, dressed as Simple Minds video extras in day-glo business-minis and Aquanet.  Some salvageable retro-80s treadmilling and an aww-how-cute attempt at refurbishing same with novo-techno notwithstanding, the lack of guitar leaves the structures flopping around bonelessly. Order at

Indie label releases, spaghetti sauce recipes and silly questions are always welcome.  Email

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