View Full Version : "Pollute your ears" 4

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-11-2004, 19:35:57
With any luck, these are hitting doormats now (Stefu- yours goes out in a day or two). I'm particularly curious as to how track 1 is being received....

30-11-2004, 00:49:20
It's being received well by me, but that might well be because I have (and like) the album it was taken from.

30-11-2004, 10:09:03
Ah, see the other thread. I haven't got to listen to it yet but I will post first impressions when I do.

01-12-2004, 11:32:25
So far - best Pollute your Ears yet. I'm really enjoying it.

They are all good but especially track 5 so far. Iit's like Bloc Party with electronica. I've actually just ordered his album.

01-12-2004, 11:41:04
11- brilliant. The Beatles were never that good.

02-12-2004, 12:38:37
Right, the album of artist #5 has just been dispatched to me. Should get it tomorrow.

In the meantime the new Mad Capsule Markets album got to me and is distracting me! :ninja:

03-12-2004, 09:50:02
OK, the album has arrived. Hillariously I-Tunes (for some reason this is now my default CD player?) says the genre is "Unclassifiable".

It's very good.

Resource Consumer
03-12-2004, 10:51:47
I would not have thought artist #5 would have been quite your style. It proves that even I can be wrong :o

03-12-2004, 10:56:37
I like lots of different styles. :)

I can see why Laz likes it, it's like a very up to date version of a lot of the stuff he's put on previous PYE cds which I also liked. To me it's kind of somewhere in between Sigur Ros and Bloc Party both of which I really like.

Resource Consumer
03-12-2004, 16:14:37
Sigur Ros :eek:

03-12-2004, 16:16:48

Lazarus and the Gimp
03-12-2004, 18:20:50
It's Icelandic for "Suck me off".

05-12-2004, 08:25:54
I'm enjoying it...need to give it a good solid listen still.
My wife didn't even look at me funny when I played it with the kids in the car...you're slipping.

06-12-2004, 10:13:11
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
It's Icelandic for "Suck me off".


Lazarus and the Gimp
14-12-2004, 22:16:19
So what do you think, yer buggers?

Scabrous Birdseed
15-12-2004, 08:56:55
Last lesson today. Weekend?

15-12-2004, 09:43:23
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
So what do you think, yer buggers?

I already bought one of the CDs!

I will tell you later today.

Resource Consumer
16-12-2004, 11:24:28
I am ready to post my comments if others are also ready....

16-12-2004, 11:40:23
I am, just didn't have time to do them yesterday.

Resource Consumer
16-12-2004, 12:36:58
OK. Here goes :

I think Laz has set a pretty high standard on this CD – both in quality and variety. I would have said that, on the evidence of the previous LWPs, Laz is the CG-er that I probably have most musical overlap with. So, although I liked some of the more obscure things on here, I was more than pleased to find a bunch of stuff that I had never heard before and will happily check out in the nearest future. Thanks Laz

Track 1

This starts very atmospherically and then the sound effects are joined by a Stockhausen type piano. The vocal is really strange on this and sounds like some mad old woman who can’t phrase her words properly. However, repeated listens reveal that there is a good voice there. The language sounds like one from the subcontinent. To be honest, I can’t say that I really like this but it is certainly interesting. I wonder how representative it is of this woman’s output?

Track 2

Sounds a little bit like a Bollywood intro and you kind of expect the dancing to kick in at any moment. Fortunately, it does not. A good clear voice, though, and a very haunting atmosphere – all misty mornings before the sun burns it all away sort of thing. I really love the drone going right through this song. I am not sure what the instrument is but it is some sort of Indian harmonium I would guess. I really do like this.

Track 3

This song starts almost like it is Spanish. However, the language does not sound anything like Spanish. My guess, though, is that it might prove to be North African. This is really good – nice guitar playing.

Track 4

An evil man! This is excellent. Some old blues stuff is sampled on the intro but this moves along really nicely. Reminds me a little bit of Cornershop (unfortunately a lot of stuff seems to) but it is better. I love this.

Track 5

Well, I rather enjoyed all the Asian stuff but you can have too much of a good thing so it is nice to be on more aurally familiar territory. This sounds rather like some 1980s electronica. I am not so sure that this really grabs me. As synthie-pop goes this is nice enough although this contrasts a little with the less than poppy lyrics.

Track 6

This sounds again like some experimental synthie-pop but, then again, not quite. It all seems to have been put together on very low-rent monophonic synthesizers. This sort of dates it as early 1980s. I rather like this.

Track 7

Nice to hear an acoustic double bass. There is something of this that reminds me of Carmel – I think it is the voice/bass/drums only arrangement. It’s not Carmel though, I am sure. This is still very good.

Track 8

A nice waltz and a good clear voice. There is something Enya-esque about this only it is good. The string arrangement works very well as do the other sort of interfering noises. It is impossible to work out what the singer is on about though and it is even not possible to decipher the language. It is all very atmospheric but it drifts a little too much for me.

Track 9

I was actually expecting a few more like this but was presently surprised. This is not too bad, although not quite my scene. The singer sounds like the guy out of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (remember them?) but I do not recognise this track and it does not sounds quite like their style as the stops and starts are a bit metallist – not bad though.

Track 10

Now. I bet you all thought that I would hate this one. Well, I don’t. I can’t say that I think it is great but it is OK. The real problem for me is, I suppose, the vocal style but to be honest I can’t imagine any other style working with this sort of thing. I wish the guy did not start coughing half way through, though.

Track 11

Ahhhhhhhh. The bitter genius of Luke Haines. Arguably brilliant. This is from the Auteurs “After Murder Park” album. Any man who can call his career retrospective “Das Kapital : The Songwriting Genius of Luke Haines” can’t be bad. Check out also his later project, Black Box Recorder, and between that and the Auteurs you will not find more bile and distain for modern life in one place.

Track 12

I am not sure where to place this. It starts like obscure early 1980s stuff but the style develops into something that feels a bit more modern. I love the tortured guitars and the slightly disinterested vocals along with the peculiar buzzing that appears in the right ear. I am still not sure whether I like this but it is sure interesting and well worth some repeated listens. I’d like to hear more from this lot.

Track 13

A rising synthesizer drone to start (at least it sounds like it) and…………….something that sounds like a Christmas song if I make out the words right. But then the lyrics move on to a more sinister interpretation. This has the sounds of tortured and distorted strings (i.e., violins) which leads me to the direction of Rasputina (but wrong voice) or Miranda Sex Garden. I really like this and recommend it if just for the voice alone. Excellent.

Track 14

An earnestly strummed acoustic guitar in a live setting. I can’t say that this one really grabbed me. It is reminiscent of many a well-meaning rock/folk singer. The voice is good but, on this track, nothing exceptional although the range gets a better workout further into the song. I can’t say that I really liked this at all.

20-12-2004, 11:22:39
Originally posted by Resource Consumer
Sigur Ros :eek:

I would never have guessed Laz was into Icelandic moaning. I actually own one of their CDs.

20-12-2004, 11:25:28
Note: Sigur Ros wasn't on the cd, it was Patrick Wolf - I was struggling for comparisons and that's one I came up with, not really a very good one!

20-12-2004, 13:33:44
Was just about to do review but stupidly took CD home! D'oh!

Lazarus and the Gimp
20-12-2004, 17:24:54
Actually, I do like Sigur Ros.

20-12-2004, 17:27:07
Did you see the video with the two kids, the dolls and the football team? Great video that was.

Lazarus and the Gimp
20-12-2004, 20:05:03
Nope- I've just heard the songs.

In case anyone wants to look a smartarse and identify tracks before I reveal who they were, you've got until Wednesday evening.

Resource Consumer
21-12-2004, 09:39:44
I am pretty anxious to find the identities of some of this stuff. I know I have one right for sure though. :)

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-12-2004, 17:15:21

1- "The Desert- Part 2" by Diamanda Galas.

It takes some sort of guts or stupidity to do a double-album about the Armenian genocides. Diamanda Galas is the only person I know who could pull it off, as she proved on "Defixiones: Will and testament". This followed on from her similar project about AIDS- "The Plague Mass".
A former opera singer, Galas has a staggering vocal range- I think it's over four octaves. She also uses the recurring theme "Were you a witness?" as a challenge. Her theory is that it's not sufficient to merely contemplate or witness disasters and genocides- you have to empathise and experience them cathartically. As you might imagine, "Defixiones" is about as far from easy listening as it's possible to get. It's sung almost exclusively in Armenian, for starters. This track covers the death marches, where tens of thousands of people were marched far into the Syrian desert to die of thirst.
Apart from the subject matter, this track was chosen to show the distinctive Central Asian vocal style, to contrast with the Indian stylings of the next track.

2- "Bhajan" by Sheila Chandra.

Sheila Chandra was the singer in Monsoon- the first Asian music act to have crossover chart success in Britain when "Ever so lonely" was a hit in the early 80's. Since then (she was 16 at the time) Chandra has released a series of increasingly experimental albums that explore global vocal themes, often blurring western folk with traditional Asian works.
"Bhajan" is an ancient Indian devotional song. It's a softer vocal style than the Islamic influences herad on track 1, but there are common roots. Chandra is a great singer- this is off my pick of her albums "Weaving my ancestor's voices".

3- "Sanson ki malah peh simroon bhajan" by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

This is Qawwali, the devotional song of the Sufi Moslems. To western ears it sounds far closer to jazz than our notion of a hymn- Qawwali uses a simple, repeated root or phrase as a matra, to which the vocalists improvise and extend- much as improvisational jazz musicians work. The singer is the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, by far the most famous Asian singer ever (he was Pakistani)- from his album "Rapture".

4- "Ja sha taan" by Fun-da-mental

Track 3 was traditional Qawwali, and this track is modern Qawwali. Fun-da-mental have been recording since around 1990, and are best known as a highly political Asian rap outfit. As rappers, they're a bit naff (though their stance is admirable and the world is a better place for their presence). However, when they start exploring their roots they suddenly become absolutely brilliant. This is from their 1999 album "Erotic Terrorism".

5- "Bloodbeat" by Patrick Wolf.

From his debut 2003 album "Lycanthropy". Patrick Wolf recorded the album between the ages of 12 and 19- it's a slew of fiercely inventive electro torch songs with obsessively layered DIY pulses and beats.

6- "With me in mind" by Cody Chesnutt

I have absolutely no idea what she's banging on about, but I bet she's good in bed.

7- "Paper and stone" by Willis

On the last LWP album I was torn between two Willis tracks. The one I didn't put on that collection is this track, and I love it to bits. From "Come get some".

8- "Open heart zoo" by Martin Grech

I first heard this while brwsing in a Virgin Megastore, and it made me shiver with pleasure. Lexus liked it so much that they used this track in a memorable TV advert. He's another teenage prodigy, and though his album gets a bit too close to Muse territory at times it make up for it with tracks like this avant-garde funereal waltz. Great castrato vocals too.

9- "She said" by The God Machine

The God Machine were active between 1990 and 1994, and sold about 30 copies of every album. They weren't Grunge, so were wrong for the times. I think if they'd formed 4 years later, they'd have been huge- their intense and inventive sound would have received a more sympathetic reception from the Goth-Rock crowd (though the God Machine weren't Goths). They split after their bassist died very suddenly of an undiagnosed brain tumour just as they were mixing their second album. "She said" comes from their first album "Scenes from the second storey" and demonstrates their habit or dramatically shifting the pace and weight of songs.

10- "Exorcism" by Killing Joke

On LWP6 I meant to submit this track, but accidentally submitted something else instead. This is its chance to get featured. From their 1993 album "Pandemonium" this track was recorded in one take inside (somewhat amazingly) the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid- hence the claustrophobic sound. Jaz Coleman is noted for "intense" vocals, but here he sounds possessed. Rumours persist that the coughing and retching was the result of him vomiting ectoplasm into the microphone...

11- "Unsolved child murder" by Luke Haines.

Luke Haines has recorded this song twice- with his band The Auteurs (it was a Christmas single) and this version which was solo (with orchestral strings) on "Das Kapital- The songwriting genius of Luke Haines and The Auteurs".
I think he's brilliant- one of the best active British artists. He writes killer pop tunes, lush melodies, and has an absolutely poisonous world-view which emerges with the Auteurs and his other projects- Black Box Recorder and Baader-Meinhoff. It's bizarre to think he used to get grouped together as some sort of "movement" with Suede in 1992. Suede just turned out to be washed-up posing pantomime dames, while Luke Haines has prolifically churned out album after album of acidic wit and spite, getting better with every release.

12- "The she" by The Breeders.

I meant to submit the beautiful "Off you" from the same album, but accidentally selected this one instead. Worship the glitch. It's still a great track.

13- "Christmas is drawing near" by Rosa Mundi.

Rosa Mundi is Coil, but with Rose McDowell (ex- Strawberry Switchblade) singing, and this is off Coil's Winter solstice EP. With the recent sad death of John Balance, I'm glad I picked something by him. It's low-key by Coil standards, but still shows off that characteristically warped sound. Happy Christmas.

14- "Pleasant street/You keep me hanging on" by Tim Buckley..

From one of the greatest ever live albums, "Dream Letter: Live in London 1968". Tim Buckley was 22 at the time, and at the peak of his powers. It captures the period just before he flew off into the extreme left-field with "Starsailor" (an album that will still sound daring and experimental a million years from now) so it's an accessible entry point to his work.
There are some people who will tell you Jeff Buckley was a better singer than his father. They are wrong.

Resource Consumer
03-01-2005, 21:56:38
Thanks, Laz, for an interesting and thoughtful collection. I just got back and read your descriptions. I am going to re-listen to your stuff during my lunchbreaks this week which will, I am sure, result in more than one CD purchase.

People will ask (or probably won't, more likely) - did you read my Luke Haines views or did I read yours. :D Just serendipity and taste at the feet of genius is my answer.

03-01-2005, 22:23:51
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
6- "With me in mind" by Cody Chesnutt

I have absolutely no idea what she's banging on about, but I bet she's good in bed.

Cody Chesnutt isn't a she. :hmm:

Lazarus and the Gimp
04-01-2005, 17:06:26
The vocalist on that track is, however.