Humanifesto #30: Work. Don't know where to start. I am back home, where I remain a foreigner. ...

Music reviews from the pages of Think Magazine
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Homogenic (One Little Indian Records)

From the first few bars of the first track 'Hunter' I thought I had mistakenly put on the Portishead disc, but perhaps that song was a set up to highlight the differences between them. This is the most interesting Bjork record since Debut, but in many ways it's stronger.

Using a lot of percussive and industrial effect loops in sparse arrangements over driving bass (somewhat as quirky as her early work with industrial tweakers KUKL).

She seems to have harnessed what she learned singing other peoples arrangements and fused her style into it. Lyrically, there are demons being exorcised all over the place, its not a swoon, its more of a trip into Bjork's room. Would you go? Eurythmics on acid. - Keith Kirchner

When Disaster Strikes (Warner Electra)

Busta Rhymes has been cutting up peoples records with his ill freaked-out delivery and hysterical diction for long enough that you probably know him from yer Tribe, Craig Mack or TLC records.

It made you wonder how 50-minutes of it could fit one head, or how he doesn't lose his voice. In the end he cracks you up, and serves up a little soul on the side.

It comes down to aesthetics and the Al Green samples on Turn it Up, and the crazy lines like "Hardcore (pronounced hart-caw) like Quick Draw McGraw", along with the heavy synth-lines interspersed with the funk say hey, this CD rocks. - Keith Kirchner

The Album (Solesides Records)

I heard one song from these guys on a sampler fell in love. Three months later I found the album!

This black & Puerto Rican duo, Lateef and Lyrics Born, are obviously well-seasoned masters of their craft, mixing, scratchin' and rappin' in the most intelligent way, with a positive message and a sense of self-confidence that is well deserved.

The big hit they had, the self-title 'Latyrx' was a BIG secret, and finds the pair rapping deftly over each other, producing not noise but words of wisdom. Upon getting the CD, (which you must do too!) I found more sweet rhymes and lyrics, with a masterpiece title 'Balcony Beach' in which Lyrics Born reminisces over his life, with the sultry Joyo providing a song-stealing background. You haven't heard imaginal lyrics 'til you have this CD in your hot little hands. - Jeffree Benet

Portishead (Go!Beat Records)

The problem with creating a legend after one record is that the deck is stacked against the next record, the Elastica dilemma. Portishead obviously had a tall order.

The new record is darker in it's melodic content, and Beth Gibbon's lyrics are less ironic than before (nobody really does seem to love her). Brass and hi-hats, and the usual twisted sixties spy movie tones, (the Pink Panther meets Pink Floyd in a dark alley, singing in the shower, and a scream), play tricks on your heart.

Better? Different! - Keith Kirchner

Earth Vol. 2 (Good Looking Records)

The beautiful thing about jungle is its mutability, but you needn't sweat over the unpredictable, if you're a fan of the Looking Good Records back catalogue, with this release.

Familiar, safe, and approaching the same jazzy beat space advertisers have so readily plundered from drum 'n' bass; but I still enjoyed it. But I can't imagine know how long it will stay on my turntable.

I felt like a warm bedroom on cold winter's evening; it's nice to come home to, but it's stale by morning. - Rob McBain

I Like To Score (Mute Records)

Real kitchen sink stuff; not that every scrap is in here, but a pastiche of styles and genres collected for no obvious reason other than to illustrate how "interesting" Moby must be. A return to dance genres and the big hype.

Everything is here: ambient, lite jazz, spy riffs, clear as glass minimalism, a Joy Division cover which rocks, and some more fatly produced soundtrack numbers culled from soundtrack samples. 'New Dawn Fades' was used in a recent DeNiro picture and "Ah-ah" was used in Cool World.

Moby fans will be delighted, unless they just got on board last year. (Keith Kirchner + Rob McBain)

Sentimental Education (Mute Records)

I liked it. What you'd expect from a Kim Gordon (from Sonic Youth) project; hip and cynical, housed in a naive facade that actually manages to still provide some warmth and a sense of wonder.

Dense remix track from DJ Spooky to leaves you off guard, then some cool stupid melodies keep you listening.

A few breakbeats plodded here and there for the kids, with just enough feedback for the old downtowners. - Rob McBain

Nimrod (Warner Music)

Perhaps the world's most popular punk group chuck a bunch more chords at ya, and continues to deny that they ever heard of the Buzzcocks.

Alright, these kinda angst ridden, tongue-in-cheek numbers are really only understood by Americans (who bought 14 mil. of them!), so maybe it might be a way for you to get more intimate with the yanks you gotta put up with every day, and their annoying, smiling, shallowness.

You listen to rap and you don't understand the lyrics, this one's easier. - Keith Kirchner

The Single File (East West Records)

In the off chance that you were alive and musically aware any time after 1988, then more than likely you've heard The Beloved on the radio, tapped your feet, snapped your fingers and generally walked happier.

You, I'll bet, that like me, didn't know who they were.

Well now you can, with this offering of re-releases called 'The Single File'. Very polished, sensual and ethereal, this electro-synth music has more polish than Kojak's dome, and is the perfect accompaniment for a long afternoon spent in bed making love. Even with someone else. - Jeffree Benet

Presents Housebox (Next Era)

For anybody who was there, (and who wasn't?), November's release party for Loutka at the Roxy in Prague proved that this man is the King of the House Party in Prague!

Mixing all the old school jams with the best of the best rave anthems sliced in perfectly with pitching crescendos and spicy samples, this CD is the second best thing to being there. Mixed and compiled at Roxy, Loutka superbly blends 15 master mixes better than James Bond makes martini's. Kinda makes you glad that a company like Next Era is there to capture it all. - Jeffree Benet

Featuring DJ Tvyks (Next Era)

From the first sexy flute mixes of Valeria Vix's Ku-Ko-Ko to the rhumba and Diesel Disco musical excuses to bump your booty, this hot and heavy potpourri of dope house mixes will set any party on fire! Particularly worthy of dance floor delights is the glamour house mix of 'Symphonic Tonic' by Street Corner Symphony, which should get you strutting your Mac Daddy best in front of all the fine ladies.

Something about that Charlie's Angels TV theme song that makes me long for streak sauce and mashed potatoes. For less disco and more house, Crazy Penis lays down a hard version of 'The Way We Swing' as well as the madness of the Superstars of Rock's 'Up All Night' when they tell you "Get a life drug addict. You're freaks. Don't you have lives?" - Jeffree Benet

AGENT & KOOGI  The Voluntary Work MixAGENT & KOOGI The Voluntary Work MixAGENT & KOOGI
The Voluntary Work Mix (For Tunel Music)

You just gotta love double-cassette issues of house music, coz it saves you the hassle of having to record them if you're a tape junky like me. This promo-only release features two of the best local boys on the wheels; Agent and Koogi, who mixed this shit up in their own home studios!

And while Agent's over 140 BPM music is great for motivating your butt, Koogi is definitely the reason for owning this tape. His style is unique, his mixes seamless and the range of his samples have more girth than my prom date. This doesn't mean that Agent doesn't rock it in his own right, and if he sucked, then I don't think that Tunel Stores would have bothered to put this set together. - Jeffree Benet

Echo Dek (Creation/Sony Music)

This is how Adrian Sherwood hears Primal Scream, and it definitely has a freshness to it. Tons of well placed reverb bend your ear around the familiar melodic themes and heavy beats you know and love.

With each listen the subtleties of the legend tweaking the dials come out, but instead of his trademark broken rhythms, maintains the continuity of PS music and its driving bass lines.

File it next to Spiritualized but on the funk side of your CD collection. - Keith Kirchner

Sci-fi Lullabies (Nude/Sony Music)

If you've ever wondered how Englishmen seduce anything with a belly full of chips, check out Suede.

Often compared to the Beatles, but really a cross between the best of early 70's Bowie and Brian Ferry (the song writing is on par). Although pop through and through, their arrangements never fail to deliver some kind of plot twist, and on this double CD of B-sides and out-takes is interesting for the strange clashes in style, and the broader range of experimentation in the 27-song selection.

Perfect for the uninitiated, a bargain (it's the same price as 1 disc). Why not have some groovy music to get dressed up to on a Saturday night, or do they only do that in San Francisco? - Keith Kirchner

Polydistortion (4AD)

This nine-piece Icelandic outfit (Look who stole the soul! Twice in one issue…) makes fucking cool, soulful, and very 80's sounding tunes. The difference is in the production.

A hit single 'Believe' (Howard Jones shuckin' and jivin') is a hooky, punchy, beheading of a cowbell. Each track features a different configuration of instruments, and the vibe on one track can sound like Cabaret Voltaire, and on the next like a breakbeat version of Marvin Gaye.

Unless you're really committed to death metal, by any means necessary check it out. - Keith Kirchner

Unsound Methods (Mute Records)

Recoil is an ongoing experiment by Depeche Mode's Alan Wilder, where he gets to explore some of the dark corners the supergroup can't go. Not well known in the states, Recoil has a big European Following. Most of the lush soundtracks have spoken stories over the top.

The coolest of which is called 'Luscious Apparatus', a tale of two horny coworkers who consummate their relationship, with a murder.

The rest of the record is equally weird, with Enoesque electronica devolving into a ruckus gospel choir, or a The The sounding mix of male and female vocals, and I'm sure I heard Alison Moyet here too. - Keith Kirchner

Short Takes

PIXIES Death to the Pixies (4AD) All the hits of the band that is indie pop. You'll never tire of these old jams, and be pleasantly surprised you had such good taste back then.
KMFDM Code (Sony Music) Are they mellowing? Sounds like, which means I like it even better. Perhaps the most roots industrial pop band we have left. Fun guys in black!
SLY & ROBBIE Sly & Robbie + Friends (Warner Music)) The legendary rhythm section separates the men from the boys, featuring Simply Red and Jah Wobble. Reggae and Soul.
MICK HARVEY Pink Elephants (Mute Records) Former Cave sidekick interprets the warped music of Serge Gainsborough (F), the king of double-entendre, and it works.
UP BUSTLE AND OUT Dream of Land... (Ninjatune) EP with 4 different versions of their Che Guevara tribute. You can never tell where these folks go next. Play it in the store, loud!
PHILIP NIKWÉ Sweet Banana Café If the Banana Café has to have a song, then this is it. Here's four versions of kooky (kookai) kitsch. File under Village People or Rod.

Believe your ears; Pick up lines heard in Prague
Sarah D. Pick up lines heard in Prague

You've had a lousy day and decide to go to a bar. It's time to ditch the usual freaks you hang out w [ ... ]

TATTOO: An Ancient and Intimate Craft
George Burchett TATTOO: An Ancient and Intimate Craft

Tattooing by puncture, with a sharp tool or needle which introduces a dye under the top la [ ... ]

Faith and the Tower
Michael Lennea Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel (Vienna)

Faith - that monumental quality held up by the godly like a sacred wall separating them from the unb [ ... ]

Pavel Žáček: Thanks for the time
Rick Jervis Pavel Žáček at the Faculty of Journalism in 1989

Up until last month, Pavel Žáček had the job that would make half the people of this country shiv [ ... ]

What a year it was: The 1999 Darwin Award Winners!
News Desk 1999 Darwin Award Winners!

How about a flashback to some pre-millennial insanity, as nobody did crazy like they did in the old  [ ... ]

Major warning signs of insanity
Think Magazine Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty.

In a world as crazy as this, the Trumpian era, you have to wonder if you are possibly becoming craz [ ... ]

Lester and Zippy - a comic by Alex Barber
Alex Barber Lester and Zippy - a comic by Alex Barber

Lester and Zippy was a short run comic in Think Magazine, created by the late Alex Barber, a regular [ ... ]

What's in your stuff?
John C. Ryan and Alan Thein Durning What's in your stuff?

How little we know about the everyday things in our life…


Name Day/Svatek

Yesterday : Ludvík Today : Bernard Tomorrow : Johana After tomorrow : Bohuslav

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