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New Sounds
Waltze for KoopWaltz for Koop [Includes bonus DVD] Koop
Koop comes from a universe where Miles Davis never made Bitches Brew, replacing swing with funk, and instead double basses kept walking and jazz kept swinging all the way until the sampler arrived to chop it up. Not electronic music with a touch of jazz, but jazz sparingly laced with electronics. Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson, both from Sweden's main university-town Uppsala, now residing in Stockholm, were the first two jazzheads in their hometown to lose interest in the perpetual Hammond organ-licking of Jimmy Smith. Instead, they embarked together down the more rewarding paths of Hard-bop and raw Latin beats, avoiding fusion's tendency to dilute the original spirit of jazz. Waltz For Koop has been re-released by Palm Pictures with a added tracks and a bonus DVD, containing the acclaimed videos for "Summer Sun" and "Glomd," as well as two remixes, "Summer Sun" (Markus Enochson Remix) and "Relaxin' at Club F***n" (Dorfmeister vs. Madrid de los Austrias Version).
Supreme Beings of Leisure - Supreme Beings of LeisureSupreme Beings of Leisure Supreme Beings Of Leisure
It's reported that Supreme Beings of Leisure emerged when a rap group called Oversoul 7 added a singer named Geri Soriano-Lightwood. Yet the band's laid-back dance grooves sound all of a piece, as if they'd played together for years. There's no messy merging of disparate styles, no rude sound shifts that occur when young bands search for their sound. Instead, this is a professionally buffed production. Though the three instrumental members all share programming duties and the music is certainly heightened by a liberal use of special space-age effects, the music is far more rooted in traditional soul-ballad and pop-rock writing than apparent on first listen. 1. Never the Same 2. Golddigger 3. Last Girl on Earth 4. Strangelove Addiction 5. Ain't Got Nothin' 6. Truth from Fiction 7. You're Always the Sun 8. Sublime 9. Nothin' Like Tomorrow 10. What's the Deal 11. Under the Gun
Pop Pop
Loud - Timo MaasLoud Timo Maas
Timo Maas's remix of Azzido Da Bass's Doom's Night brought him fame and 2000's Music for the Maases brought him acclaim, but Loud establishes the Dusseldorf DJ as the Teutonic master of the dance floor. Matching the ferociousness and accessibility of Thriller with the warped sonics of Dig Your Own Hole, Maas creates a doom-laced, freak-beat ultraworld. While 4/4 is still the message, Maas matches surreal sounds with alienated dialogues, sultry vocals, and a song-oriented approach, giving Loud its irresistible, codeine-like buzz. "Help Me" begins with the sound of grinding gears followed by campy effects and Kelis's breathy vocal. Bits of downtempo and electro in the form of "Hash Driven" and "Shifter" ratchet up a sense of gleeful foreboding; "That's How I've Been Dancing" recalls KC and the Sunshine Band entertaining a Nuremberg rally.
Rings Around the World by Super Furry AnimalsRings Around the World (Bonus CD) Super Furry Animals
Disc: 1 1. Alternate Route To Vulcan Street 2. Sidewalk Serfer Girl 3. (Drawing) Rings Around The World 4. It's Not The End Of The World? 5. Receptacle For The Respectable 6. (A) Touch Sensitive 7. Miniature 8. No Sympathy 9. Juxtapozed With U 10. Presidential Suite 11. Run! Christian, Run! 12. Fragile Happiness Disc: 2 1. Tradewinds 2. The Roman Road 3. Patience 4. Happiness Is A Worn Pun 5. Gypsy Space Muffin 6. Edam Anchorman 7. All The Shit U Do
I - Buffalo DaughterI Buffalo Daughter
The three members of Buffalo Daughter are as much sonic collage artists as musicians, and I--their 2002 release and quite possibly their masterwork--can be viewed as both a collection of songs and a serious challenge to accepted norms about dissonance, structure, harmony, and the studio itself as an instrument. Take, for instance, the opening track, "Ivory." An electric guitar slowly unspools a repeating series of minor keys while the three Japanese women gently coo over top. Normal enough, then out of nowhere comes a cacophony of strings, as if a heretofore unnoticed orchestra began warming up in the studio next door. Just as suddenly, an agile violin begins shadowing the guitar's stated melody, then the whole thing just drifts off into the ether.
Bachelor Pad
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music by EsquivelSpace Age Bachelor Pad Music Esquivel
1. Sentimental Journey 2. Latin-Esque 3. Mucha Muchacha 4. Surfboard 5. Begin the Geguine 6. Lazybones 7. Whatchamacallit 8. Music Makers 9. Harlem Nocturne 10. Jalousie 11. Bye Bye Blues 12. Baja 13. Who's Sorry Now? 14. Anna
Cabaret Manana by EsquivelCabaret Manana Esquivel
1. Mini Skirt 2. Johnson Rag 3. Night and Day 4. El Cable 5. Harlem Nocturne 6. Mucha Muchacha 7. Time on My Hands 8. Malagueña 9. Guanacoa 10. Sentimental Journey 11. Estrellita 12. Limehouse Blues 13. Todavía 14. April in Portugal 15. Take the "A" Train 16. Question Mark (Que Vas a Hacer) 17. It Had to Be You 18. Yeyo 19. Lullaby of Birdland 20. Flower Girl from Bordeaux
Gypsy Punk Cabaret
Voi-La Intruder Gogol BordelloVoi-La Intruder Gogol Bordello
Underground band with revved-up "gypsy songs, russian language punk meltdowns". Accordion, fiddle, electric guitar and drums make a unique sound. 1. Sacred Darling 2. Voi-La Intruder 3. Greencard Husband 4. Passport 5. Start Wearing Purple 6. Shy Kind of Guy 7. Mussolini vs. Stalin 8. Letter To Mother 9. God-Like 10. Nomadic Chronicle 11. Letter To Castro (Costumes for Tonight) 12. Unvisible Zedd 13. Sex Spider 14. No Threat 15. Against The Nature
New Sounds
Johnny Cash - American IVAmerican IV: The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash
On first thought, the idea of the Man in Black recording such covers as "Bridge over Troubled Water," "Danny Boy," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" might seem odd, even for an artist who's been able to put his personal stamp on just about everything. But American IV: The Man Comes Around, which also draws on Cash's original songs as well as those by Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt"), Sting ("I Hung My Head"), and Depeche Mode ("Personal Jesus"), may be one of the most autobiographical albums of the 70-year-old singer-songwriter's career. Nearly every tune seems chosen to afford the ailing giant of popular music a chance to reflect on his life, and look ahead to what's around the corner. From the opening track--Cash's own "The Man Comes Around," filled with frightening images of Armageddon--the album, produced by Rick Rubin, advances a quiet power and pathos, built around spare arrangements and unflinching honesty in performance and subject. In 15 songs, Cash moves through dark, haunted meditations on death and destruction, poignant farewells, testaments to everlasting love, and hopeful salutes to redemption. He sounds as if he means every word, his baritone-bass, frequently frayed and ravaged, taking on a weary beauty. By the time he gets to the Beatles' "In My Life," you'll very nearly cry. Go ahead. He sounds as if he's about to, too. Unforgettable.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - The Rising Special EditionThe Rising (Special Packaging) [LIMITED EDITION] Bruce Springsteen
Although it seemed the Boss had put writing rock anthems behind him after Born in the U.S.A., his longtime fans knew if any artist could write anthems addressing September 11, 2001, and not make them sound jingoistic, it would be Bruce Springsteen. The numerous anthems on his much-anticipated first full-length album with the E Street Band in 18 years are subtler than those of the Born to Run era. But the elements are all there: the joyous rocking strains of "Countin' on a Miracle," "Mary's Place," and "Waitin' on a Sunny Day"; the dark overtones of "Further on Up the Road"; the stunning guitar solo that closes "Worlds Apart," a dramatic Arabic-tinged piece detailing star-crossed love between a Muslim and an "infidel." Although most of these songs deal with death and tragedy, they still inspire. But while the lyrics are intriguing, what's more remarkable is how well The Rising works as epic rock & roll as it draws from rockabilly, soul, doo-wop hard rock, country, and even industrial. To skewer a cliché, when The Rising is good, it's great. And even when it's not great, it's still awfully good. Special limited edition deluxe package includes the CD in a hardcover book with a 40 page, full color booklet filled with extra photos, handwritten lyrics and more.
Sonic Jihad - Snake River Conspiracy with Tori AmosSonic Jihad [EXPLICIT LYRICS] Snake River Conspiracy
More than just a straight nu-metal collection, Sonic Jihad is a journey, lyrically and musically, through human emotions. The luscious, slo-mo cinematic strains of "Casualty," with its dragging beats and Bond-esque strings, is an homage to longing. The Phil Spector-inspired production of "You and Your Friend" and the ultra hi-tech aching of the Cure's "Love Song" encapsulate love and obsession. And the concoction of drum & bass, cheesy lounge elements, and demonic guitars on "Somebody Hates You" makes a convincing stab at--not surprisingly--hate. And their distressed and blissfully aching cover of the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" is nothing short of staggering. With femme fatale Tobey Torres vocals in the fore and the entire group creating drama and attitude, Sonic Jihad is the triumph of passion over technology.
Red Dir Girl - Emmy Lou HarrisRed Dirt Girl Emmylou Harris
Consider this Emmylou Harris's emancipation proclamation--an album that confirms that 1995's adventurously atmospheric Wrecking Ball wasn't an aberration, but a preview of more radical changes to come. Long the godmother of alternative-country's traditionalist wing, Harris here writes songs with Luscious Jackson's Jill Cunniff, sings a duet with Dave Matthews ("My Antonia"), and recruits Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa to provide harmonies on the album's most compelling ballad ("Tragedy"). The production by Malcolm Burn applies sonic treatments of drum machines, shimmering guitars, and echoed vocals to a song cycle by Harris that is largely original and deeply personal, filled with dream imagery and evocations of a spiritual quest. While material such as "Michaelangelo" and "Bang the Drum Slowly" suffers from an arty ponderousness, it's doubtful that Harris has ever recorded an album that means more to her than this one.
Dig Dig - Rene Lacaille and Bob BrozmanDigdig Rene Lacaille & Bob Brozman
Bob Brozman is a true ambassador of the Hawaiian slide guitar, island hopping from Martinique to Okinawa to collaborate with other top musicians little known outside their own countries. His fluid and occasionally witty steel guitar finds its perfect foil in the hyperactive rhythms of René Lacaille, a guitarist, accordionist, singer, and composer from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion. Lacaille alternates between tropical Gallic pop suggestive of a steamy cabaret and fiercely energetic homegrown dances that percolate with African influences. Among the liveliest pieces are the instrumentals that comprise about half of the disc, and these mingle the inevitable island-trader-route cross currents as suggested by the high-speed, high-octane mix of Arabic modalities and homegrown sega rhythms on "An Dio." Brozman and Lacaille exchange and mingle licks as briskly as the beat of a hummingbird's wings.
Deep Natural - Michelle ShockedDeep Natural Michelle Shocked
Miss Shell Shocked....Although double albums are again de rigueur, the mercurial Shocked pushes the envelope on her first release in four years. Fully free from major-label duties, Shocked picks up where the quasi-gospel vibe of the limited-edition Good News left off (even reprising a few tracks) and delivers the most expressive singing of her career. She fuses deep Southern funk, Jamaican dub, ambient country-folk, and socially and sexually conscious soul (à la What's Going On) with poignantly confessional, faith-based lyrics.
World Music
Black Ivory Soul By Angelique KidjoBlack Ivory Soul Angelique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo's previous albums have been decidedly patchy affairs, with tracks ranging from the sublime to the abysmal. With Black Ivory Soul, however, Kidjo strikes a lovely and generally consistent note. Exploring the connections between her native Benin and Brazil's Bahia region, she makes beautiful music flavored by two continents on songs such as "Tumba," with its crisp but subtle percussion driving a lilting melody, or "Afrika," where the cascading notes of the kora help bridge the Atlantic. 1. Bahia 2. Iwoya (w/ Dave Matthews) 3. Olofoofo 4. Tumba 5. Black Ivory Soul 6. Refavela 7. Iemanja 8. Afirika 9. Okanbale 10. Ominira 11. Mondjuba 12. Ces Petits Riens
Pirates Choice by Orchestra BaobabPirates Choice Orchestra Baobab
For people who know their Senegalese music, Orchestra Baobab's Pirates Choice is the Holy Grail. By the time this music was recorded to four-track in 1982, the immensely popular band had been playing nightly for years at a Dakar club called Baobab. But legendary status in Senegal didn't help the musicians get wider attention--the album wasn't released in Europe until 1987, and it only now comes to the U.S. for the first time. Latin music was popular in Dakar, a port city, and the band mixed various strains of Latin music with different African music styles to create uniformly stunning results not all that different from Afro-Cuban music. The French vocals are lovely, and the powerful mix of African and Latin percussion is undeniable--but keep a particular ear out for guitarist Barthelemy Attisso, whose tasteful leads float over the top.
Cybertropic Chilango Power by Los De AbajoCybertropic Chilango Power Los De Abajo
Exploding out of Mexico City, Cybertropic Chilango Power is Los de Abajo's second release for David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. Los de Abajo's recent nomination for the first BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards has pushed them further forward, though these Chilangos (denizens of Mexico City) have now been together for a decade. The world at large had to wait until 1998 for their eponymous debut album; prior to that, Los De Abajo's early efforts circulated via the local cassette underground. The band name means "those from below," a reference to the members' politically activist leanings. Besides having an uncompromising lyrical content, the music reeks of unhealthy fun, set to fire up fans of Ozomatli, Manu Chao, or even Los Lobos. The salsa, son, cumbia, and Mexican trad elements vibrate in sympathy with hip-hop, reggae, ska, funk, and electro, the band handily providing the genre name of TropiPunk to encapsulate where their fusing lies in the category bins. Their signature sound is dripping with saucy trumpet innuendo, the ensemble vocals ranging from raspy rap to harmonious Latino.
Jazzy Beats
Friday Afternoon in the Universe - Medeski Martin and WoodFriday Afternoon in the Universe Medeski Martin & Wood
They may attract Sufi-dancing Deadheads to their rock-club shows and they may have connections to lower Manhattan's art-music scene, but when you get right down to it, Medeski Martin & Wood are just a jazz organ trio. Organist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood don't work a whole lot differently from the old Jimmy Smith Trio; they get a good groove going, add a catchy hook and then improvise changes on both the rhythm and the melody. They may take more liberties than Smith ever has, but that familiar combination of a thick organ sound and funky drum patterns is still the core. The third Medeski Martin & Wood album, Friday Afternoon in the Universe, is the best reflection yet of the trio's live show, for 13 of the 15 tracks feature no guests, just the interaction among the three principals. And that interaction has been honed by three years of extensive roadwork into a genuine give-and-take. There's no parade of disconnected solos here, no fast, flashy playing for its own sake; the three players move as one through impressionistic, atmospheric patches into driving funk grooves and then off onto spacey tangents.
The Remixes, 1997-2000 by JazzanovaThe Remixes, 1997-2000 Jazzanova
Very cool Studio K7/Compost 2 CD down tempo collection featuring remixes they did for the likes of, 4-Hero, Incognito, United Future Organization, Soul Bossa Trio, Ian Pooley and many more. This 2000 Jazzanova / Compost release comes in a double tri-fold digipak. Electronic jazz.
Top Ten Music AlbumsTop Ten Country MusicTop Ten ClassicalTopSelling CDsSheet Music DVD Music VideosChoice Spin

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