Monday, June 09, 2008

Music Library: Au Pairs, Augustus Pablo, Auteurs, Avey Tare, Axiom Funk, Azeem, Azure Ray

This is the end of the As! Almost! At this rate, I will be finished by sometime in the next three years.

Au Pairs - Playing With A Different Sex. As I wrote in another post, if they weren't lumped in with utterly brilliants bands like The Mekons, the Gang of Four, the Raincoats, and the Delta 5, the Au Pairs would shine a little brighter. As is, there's some real gems on this.

Augustus Pablo - The Definitive Augustus Pablo. Somewhere between dub and reggae and based around the humble melodica, Pablo's music is a wonderful example of the creative boom in Jamaica during the 60s and 70s.

The Auteurs - New Wave and After Murder Park. Tip of the hat to David Smay, who convinced me to pursue the work of Luke Haines and the Auteurs. Both of these albums are phenomenal, although I'm surprised that writers describe them with the word "glam." They don't sound glam to me. They sound like the Go-Betweens with louder guitars.

Avey Tare - Splinter Series Split #16. There's supposed to be some tracks on this by David Grubbs, too. Maybe I'll hit them in the Ds. Somewhere between annoying and brilliant, like a lot of early Animal Collective.

Avey Tare and Kria Brekkan - Pullhair Rubeye and Pullhair Rubeye (Forward). This is actually just one album. Pullhair Rubeye consists of some lovely songs that Tare and Brekkan, for whatever reason, mastered backwards. The review on Pitchfork mentions how much the author loves this effect when used well, but also how depressing he finds it when abused, such as here. I agree completely. The backwards version is an unpleasant listening experience, without much to recommend it other than proving you can tune out the tediousness of constant redshifted sound. The forward version can be found in any number of places online, and surprise, surprise, it is an enjoyable album. Tare & Brekkan didn't just flip some songs around, but sped them up, too. So: groovy, I suppose, in the same sense that a lava lamp is groovy. Which is also to say not at all.

Axiom Funk - "Sax Machine". A Bill Laswell project with real live funksters like Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell (among, apparently, a cast of thousands) for authenticity. This song carries some pretty heavy funk.

Azeem - "Don't Do It". Decent enough hip-hop. I'm interested in hearing more.

Azure Ray - Hold On Love. This is piano-dominated indie-rock that has something to do with Bright Eyes. The two young ladies who compose this band sing well together and Eric Bachmann provides some fairly interesting (or, at least, not-uninteresting) soundscapes, but, well, I think it's dullsville overall. The songs rarely have anything for me to latch onto. I remember describing a band a few years back as having nothing but atmosphere in search of something solid to anchor it. These songs fit that description. Deleted tonight.


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