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Yet More One Album Wonders

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 22, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Here is an additional edition of my series of great, mostly obscure, one album wonders. In the album era (roughly the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s), the album was the dominant format of recorded music expression and consumption. It seems that most musicians from that era, if able to scrape together the funds for the recording of one studio album, generally returned with at least one more.  Some, like Sun Ra, somehow released more albums than I've had hot dinners. Even most excellent bands, in my opinion, would have done well to find something other to do with their time rather than keep making records after their fifth album or twelfth year (although there is the Go-Betweens Exception). The following acts mostly date from the Golden Age of the LP -- and yet were unable or unwilling, in all cases, to record more than one. 

ORGANISATION - TONE FLOAT (1969)

Organisation - Tone Float

Although most musicians associated with the Krautrock scene usually argue that it didn't even exist as such except in the collective conscious of British music critics, on first spin of Organisation's sole album, Tone Float, the discerning listener will have little doubt that the album is a product of late-1960s/early-1970s Dusseldorf

Heading Organisation were Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter, who famously went on to form Kraftwerk and have almost as famously been unfairly sniffy about their excellent pre-Autobahn output. Organisation's only album was produced by Konrad "Conny" Plank and, since its 1970 release by RCA Victor, has long been out-of-print. The other members of Organisation were Basil Hammoudi, Butch Hauf, and Fred Monicks. After the band's disorganisation Hammoudi joined another one album wonder, Ibliss, who released Supernova in 1972. 

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Can Reissues Headed Our Way Starting in September

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 10:44am | Post a Comment

can bandCan you believe it??

Krautrock titans Can will reissue 14 catalog albums on vinyl for the first time in more than a decade, starting with the classics Ege Bamyasi, Tago Mago, Monster Movie and Soundtracks. Those are out Sept. 2 on Mute.

Oct. 7 brings Future Days, Soon Over Babaluma, Landed, Flow Motion amd Saw Delight (the latter of which includes a CD).

Oct. 21 we have Can, Delay, Out Of Reach (including the album for the first time on CD), Rite Time and Unlimited Edition.

On Nov. 4 the band will release The Lost Tapes as five individual LPs. Previously it was only available as a box set.

Can was formed in 1968, releasing their debut album, Monster Movie, in 1969 with Malcolm Mooney on vocals, first introducing their sense of experimentation and layering that would go on to be perfected on the band’s masterpieces, 1971’s Tago Mago and 1972’s Ege Bamyasi. Soundtracks, released in 1970, marked the beginning of Damo Suzuki as the band’s vocalist and compiled tracks written for various films.

Can’s influence would of course go on to be felt immediately, creating the so-called “krautrock” sound alongside loosely associated German bands of the late '60s and early '70s like Neu! and Faust with driving 4/4 beats and layers of sound built around simple structures, as well as later, influencing acts such as Radiohead, Stereolab, Portishead, New Order, Kanye West and countless others. If it’s your first time to the band, these Sept. 2 releases are a good place to start.

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Amen Dunes' Damon McMahon Talks Trying Not to Be Cool On New Album 'Love'

Posted by Billy Gil, June 13, 2014 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Amen Dunes Damon McMahonDamon McMahon has been making lo-fi psychedelic folk under the Amen Dunes moniker over the past decade. Several tours, a stint living in China and a few records later, and Amen Dunes are having a breakthrough moment with the recently released Love, a cleaner, more precise album and perhaps one of the best of the year thus far, full of swirling, melancholic folk-rockers with carefully considered experimental touches.

I’ve read that in the past you recorded a lot of things on your own onto tape. What made you want to go for a more produced sound on this record?

I think I’ve always wanted to make records that sounded really good, but I didn’t have the means to do so. It’s always been a solitary process, it never really worked for me in studios, but I’ve always wanted to make a record that sounded really good but I never really had the ability to do that. I had specific visions for this record. I had this idea of imagining what a songwriter record would sound like if it was backed by Pharoah Sanders. I was really obsessed with this Pharoah Sanders record called Karma, I have been for a long time. I wanted to make a record that production-wise was reminiscent of that. And I couldn’t really do that with a TASCAM four-track.  

Was it important to keep some of the immediacy of your earlier work? I’m thinking of a song like “I Can’t Dig It,” which has almost a live feel to it.

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Sandra Vu of SISU and Dum Dum Girls Talks 'Blood Tears'

Posted by Billy Gil, October 9, 2013 02:33pm | Post a Comment

sandra vuSandra Vu has been the cool presence behind the drum kit in a number of bands, both on record and live. She's helped propel such bands as Dirty Beaches, The Raveonettes, Midnight Movies, Boredoms and, most often, as the drummer for Dum Dum Girls.

Now she has her own project named SISU. Judging by her resume, SISU's debut album is somehow both comfortingly familiar, drawing from influences such as girl groups and noise pop, and something entirely new. The strange tones that strike across the skies of songs like "Counting Stars" and pulsating beats under songs like "Harpoons" draw more from krautrock, industrial and experimental music than contemporary shoegaze, while Vu's vocals range from disaffected and alien to front-and-center pop vocals. Blood Tears is a delight throughout, atmospheric and cool, yet catchy and immediately memorable.

I took a minute to speak with Vu about her new project and how she came into making music on her own.

 

 

Me: I hear SISU is the Finnish word for “extreme perseverance.” Why did you choose that name?

Vu: Originally, "SISU" stems from my name, but we later found out that it was a Finnish word. I like the meaning though so we've adopted it, respectfully.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With BEAK>

Posted by Amoebite, September 11, 2013 01:08pm | Post a Comment


Beak

Portishead founder and producer Geoff Barrow is always busy making music. In 2009, Barrow teamed up with Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (Team Brick) to form the Krautrock trio, BEAK>. The group has since produced two full length albums, Beak> and Beak II, with the latter being released on Barrows' own Invada imprint.

Beak The band's named is stylized using the "greater than" symbol (>) with their second album featuring two greater than symbols on the cover (pictured right). Long live Krautrock!

Barrow and his cohorts caught up with our cameras at Amoeba Berkeley for another awesome episode of "What's In My Bag?." Right off the bat Billy pulls out a Frank Sinatra vinyl! Who would have thought the Kraughtrockers were into ol' blue eyes? Very cool! Matt picks up a CD that has a musician playing a "hurdy gurdy" on the cover, about which he says, "it just sounds amazing, it sounds like a drowning violin." Who doesn't love the sound of drowning violins? Geoff tells a great story about being sampled by the legendary hip hop producer J.Dilla and manages to dig up the soundtrack to the 1971 cult classic, Psychomania.

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