MASAKI BATOH Brain Pulse Music LP/CD (DRAG CITY)
BURNING SPEAR Garvey's Ghost (ISLAND)
CAROL "Breakdown" b/w "So Low" 7" (DIRTY DANCE)
FREDDIE McGREGOR unofficial comp from Magic is Juju blog
OST Drive (LAKESHORE)
This mixtape by KURT VILE
This mp3 by MARY HALVORSON & WEASEL WALTER
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR World Record (CHARISMA)
FLIPPER Unreleased Studio Session Tape 1982 (NOT ON LABEL)
Once you've got a clutch of King Tubby & Lee Perry records and wanna keep going, you might check out Garvey's Ghost, the dub version of the Burning Spear album Marcus Garvey. Leadoff track "The Ghost" is pretty great, but it's a very low-key album, less arresting than the shattered Tubby or Scratch style you might be into, more in a relatively untreated mellow roots instrumental style. In fact, if you're only gonna get one of the two I'd recommend the vocal set Marcus Garvey, because if I'm gonna check out a Burning Spear album, I wanna hear the man sing!
This Carol 7-inch is crazy good. "Breakdown" b/w "So Low." Continental synth pop done right in 1981, complete with dubbed-out rockers-style rim clicks. If I'm reading the internet right, one recently sold for $333.
The official soundtrack to the film Drive is probably the best new fake 1980s pop music I've heard besides Channel Pressure by Ford & Lopatin. Normally I dislike new fake 1980s pop almost as much as I dislike new fake Italian giallo soundtracks, but both of these records have hit a hitherto unknown sweet spot, the kind of feat that can only happen if the songwriting is good (like the way Ford & Lopatin somehow endlessly extrapolate and improve on the Pointer Sisters' "Automatic"), though that hardly seems the case when considering this soundtrack's execrable-but-somehow-wonderful "A Real Hero" by College (feat. Electric Youth). Can you really call that good songwriting? I guess it turns out you can, but really, I think the reason this music is so good is simply because magic is involved, something beyond mortal understanding. Even the artists responsible for these creations don't understand, and never will. Good weird flick too, if you haven't seen it. Caveat: the pop portion of this soundtrack that I was just raving about is just 5 tracks at around 20 minutes. You've got French vocoder jam "Nightcall" by Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, the stunning pop obsession of "Under Your Spell" by Desire (which I now see is a new band including Johnny Jewel of Glass Candy), some sort of cabaret/torch song which I'm not that into, and a killer Basic Channel-worthy minimalist jam by The Chromatics, which is another Johnny Jewel project, who I guess is the producer, or "developer" of the pop portion of the soundtrack. He also wrote a score for the whole movie, but it didn't get used. Instead, the film was scored by Cliff Martinez, maybe because he's more of an L.A. veteran. (After all, he played drums on the last Captain Beefheart album in '82 and the first two Red Hot Chili Peppers albums in '84-'85!) His ambient cityscapes are nice, but they go on for 50 minutes and, without being able to support the film, eventually fade into irrelevance.
I thought Flipper's "In The Garden" was maybe, just maybe, still the Van Der Graaf Generator album. I confess that about two minutes in I still wasn't 100% sure that it was a different album, and had to look at the iPod screen to find out. I know that sounds nuts.
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