Various – Hashisheen, The End Of Law

(Sub Rosa : SR154)
Author: Jyoti Mishra
Date: 1999/03/27
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Ummm..this is probably the weirdest thing I bought today. Sonic cathedrals of sound (provided by people like Bill Laswell, Eyeless In Gaza, Jah Wobble, Techno Animal, Sussan (sic) Deyhim and Helios Creed) with readings by William Burroughs, Genesis P. Orridge, Hakim Bey, Iggy Pop and other notables.

I won’t spoil what the album’s about, in case you do check it out but I find it strangely compelling. Okay, a lot of people may say that it crosses over into art-installation, ‘this-picture-was-painted-with-my-period-blood’ territory but I like it. And being an old school 4AD fan, I’ve had my wankiness limit pre-raised.

Buy it if you bought ‘No More Cocoons’, are a William Burroughs completist or just want to listen to some seriously crazy spoken-word shit. Don’t buy it if you think Cast are a bit too art-rock.

Family Of God – We Are The World

(Ochre Records : OCH008LCD) Author: Jyoti Mishra
Date: 1999/03/27
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Never heard of this lot but bought it after a quick listen in Soundclash. Very strange mix. The first track is quite psych-rock and slow, brooding. Sounds most like slow Nick Cave but with less gruff vocals. But then the second track launches into a kind of squawky eurodisco, complete with castanets and mental vocals. Sounds a bit like ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’ crossed with an Italian football commentary. And that’s good.

Really, you should at least give this album a listen.It lurches quite drunkenly and brilliantly from genre to genre, not seeming to care about convention. ‘Help, I’m a Rock’ is fourbeat pop genius. The only feel I can compare it to is The Very Things. Or perhaps Fatima Mansions. Although the songs are completly dissimilar, the album sort of reminds me of Felt in the way you can’t quite predict what’s coming next.

And if I’m making it sound avant-garde, it isn’t. I think this is a very poppy album. Okay, lines like “when you blow your nose, take care of your clothes” aren’t gonna entrance everyone. But the songs are very poppy, very catchy.There’s so much humour and broadness of palette here. ‘The Observer Is Observed’ lasts for 12 minutes and floats buy so that you forget what came before it.
Check out the Ochre site at:
for a bit of a biog of TFOG and their other releases and events.

Buy this album if you like Fourtet, the Notwist, Depeche Mode, David Devant or Komeda. Don’t buy it if you’re anti-guitar or anti-synth.

Trans Am – Futureworld

(Thrill Jockey : Thrill062)
Author: Jyoti Mishra
Date: 1999/03/27
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The only other TA stuff I’ve got is their City Slang cd ‘Surrender To The Night’ which I love. I used to play ‘Cologne’ when I was DJing and it always rocked the floor. This album is heavier and also more electronic. At times it sounds like a Metallica playing Kraftwerk. Which I guess ends up in Big Black territory 😉

There’s loads of vocodery vocals about futureworlds, fleepy-floopy anaolg synth sweeps. But as the backing for this is often metal bass and rhythms, the overall sound is… umm… unique. ‘Cocaine Computer’ is a particularly funky little tune with cross mod lead sounds over an almost Cameo rhythm. Way too short and it fades out. Bastards.

This is a really schizoid album. One track can be as heavy as fuck and the next tootle merrily along with undued clap sounds and phased Tron strings. If there is a theme it’s that the CD starts out nearly purely guitarry and then gets more synthetic track by track. And even the type of synthiness changes, from lush German symphonics to bzangy groink. But then the last song, ‘Sad & Young’ is a gentle guitar workout that morphs into a big Mercury Rev-ish noisewall. Hmmm..

Buy this CD if you like Add N To X, Throbbing Gristle, DAF, or Big Black. Avoid if you want to hear snappy two minute pop songs.