This is the weekly installment where we recap what we’ve been spinning at The Synthesizer Book headquarters during the week. If it’s on this list, it got played more than once!
1.Hot Panda-How Come I’m Dead
The album starts out with what sounds like a harmonium and quickly the discordant vocals kick in. I had the good fortune of checking out this band last Thursday at the Biltmore Cabaret. Opening for them was The Albertans and Analog Bell Service. I’m going to say this was a great show to catch. I’m still confused why many people decided to leave before the headline act. I mean, you waited that long. It’s Thursday night, folks. Where you gotta be? I’m really enjoying this album. There are several good tracks here and overall, this deserves some critical acclaim and a spot in your collection. Among the tracks I’m enjoying are Membership Fees (Intro), Pools, Shoot Your Horse, F**k S**t Up / Hell Hey Hex, and with names like Poor Little Ambulance and Clever Fox and Mindlessnesslessness,… er did I get that right?, it’s clear this band has a sense of humor. Also, with a rhythm section of 2 girls, plus one that also happens to be a singing drummer, how could you possibly go wrong?
2.John Foxx & Robin Guthrie-Mirrorball
I talked about this album before. It reminds me a little of the Cocteau Twins, but why should that be a surprise, right? It’s got Robin Guthrie for a large portion of the output. This is a great duo featuring plenty of angelic type textures, the beautiful voice of John Foxx and the guitar virtuosity of Robin Guthrie. I played this on the way to a show and it put me in such a mellow state that my friends thought I had been sleeping. What a great album to wind down to. Simply awesome and it felt like it almost put a spell on me.
3.Solvent-Subject To Shift
Earlier I posted a video of Jason Amm aka Solvent and his Roland CR-78 drum machine. I got some of the facts wrong and he let me know it! I dig this album. I dig his gear fetishism, but most of all, thanks for reading, Jason. For all you synthesizer fetishists, get your hands on this. Read the previous post and check out the video here.
4.12 Rounds-My Big Hero
I forgot my iPod the other day. I had to resort to the CD changer. This came up in rotation and it was interesting because just this week, a certain Atticus Ross, just so happens to have won an Academy Award with his collaborator Trent Reznor. That this CD was in there was just a coincidence really. The CD has been in there for over a year. Still, it’s a great album featuring, as said, Atticus Ross and his wife and partner Claudia Sarne on vocals and bass. This album would wind up being released on Trent Reznor’s Nothing label.
The standouts for me on this LP are Sunshine and Where Fools Go. Those tracks just make you wanna move. You can’t discount the title track, My Big Hero either. To learn more about 12 Rounds go here. I also just found out that Atticus Ross did the score for Book of Eli. Good stuff, indeed.
5.Eurythmics-In The Garden
Conny Plank co-produced this with the Eurythmics. They would pack up their minimal gear and go to Cologne to record this with Plank. I also remember reading in Keyboard magazine in a 1984 issue that they had used a Roland SH-09 and Korg MS-20 for some of the synthesizer parts. If I remember correctly, there was an EDP Wasp synthesizer used on that LP too. This was to be their debut album as the Eurythmics. The album was originally released in Europe in 1981. It wouldn’t be released in the States until many, many years later, but it’s a good album and I’m glad it made its way into my library. The album features the vocals of Annie Lennox and the great guitar work of Dave Stewart as well as various synthesizers of which he would become quite a fan of around this period. Every time I hear the intro of Belinda I am reminded of the Edge of U2. Then again, I’m sure lots of people were going for that delayed guitar effect too. If you like the Eurythmics, you have to have this album in your collection. Trust me.