Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters - "Dada Antidada Merz" (2005)

When I came across it in Amoeba Records in Los Angeles, this compilation of poetry and spoken word pieces from three major contributors to the Dada movement was an offer I simply could not refuse. Although it was far more sparse than I had originally envisioned, I found myself entranced by their warped, brain-twisting take on verbal delivery and the recording medium itself. While I don't speak German or French, the two 'real' languages most often featured/referenced here, that didn't much detract from my experience of the works, which are focused as much on tonality and off-kilter timing as the semantic content to which they apparently correspond. To the these linguistically-naive ears, the result is like some kind of vocal free-jazz, a challenging and intruiging document of some incredibly challenging and intruiging 'artists.' Honestly, written description isn't going to do it here; you just gotta go with it.

Buy it

download here

Monday, February 18, 2008

Electric Wizard - Come My Fanatics... (1996)

The album that took doom metal out of the caverns and into the stratosphere, Electric Wizard's Come My Fanatics is an absolute shit-storm, rumbling through one's bones with enough force in a single riff to induce multiple unplanned trips to the bathroom. If you thought you'd heard an overdriven bass guitar before coming across this album, think again; EW draw from subsonic influences including supernovae, continental drift, and the tortured cries of the imprisoned god Loki to produce a toxic rumble so heavy it will move your subwoofer several feet across the floor. Fusing impossibly fat, smoked-out blues with a Satanic take on the kosmiche style pioneered by bands such as Amon Düül II and Can, Electric Wizard occupy a metalliverse all their own, often copied but never equaled.

For more E-Wiz, including 2000's excellent Dopethrone, check out Anthem of the Space's collection here


Buy it

Try it

Monday, February 4, 2008

Devo - Hardcore Devo Vols. 1 and 2 + Be Stiff EP (1974-77; 1978)

Long before those silly hats and that oh-so-whacky video for 'Whip It,' Devo were one of the most exciting - and bizarre - bands to come out of the first wave of U.S. punk. Comin' straight outta Akron, Ohio to upset freaks and squares alike with their strange combination of 60s sci-fi fetishism and pseudo-corporate advertising, Devo laid down a form of bizarro agit-pop so loaded with irony that it was impossible to tell where the jokes ended and the real message began. While their debut LP "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" has been rightfully recognized as an absolute classic, their pre-Warner Bros. material has been more or less neglected by critics, giving the false impression that these Devo boys were some kind of avant-tard flash in the pan whose decent into the banalities of New Wave represent some lack of creative stamina. It is in the name of changing such perceptions that BURNING MINDS presents the entirety of Devo's independent catalog, represented by the two Hardcore Devo 1974-77 volumes and the Be Stiff EP originally released on the band's own Booji Boy label. Most of the songs here consist of 4-track demos, but even in their unpolished form these are some of the coolest, most whacked-out tracks this side of Don Van Vliet (an obvious influence in attitude if not in pure sound). Whether you're an old Devo-tee or a total stranger to the terrifying truths of Devolution, do yourself a favor and grab these yams while they're hot; monkeys might never look the same again.

Buy Vol. 1 + Vol. 2

Download here and here (or get everything here)

edit: in getting higher-bitrate version of these albums, I lost some versions of songs that I much preferred. Get the superior cut of "Social Fools" here.