I haven’t bought very much music in a while now – a fact that will please my bank manager, but doesn’t really make for a lot of stuff to blog about. A few old things that I have picked up in the last few months include Live From Rome (Anticon 48), Sole‘s wordy politically charged hip hop album from 2005. In parts brilliant, in parts messy and slapdash with too many skits and interludes for its own good.
Neuropolitique‘s Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been? (New Electronica 22 1995) is OK. Very much of its time – a sort of ambient-tribal-dub techno existing somewhere between the Orb, the Advent and Global Communication. Enjoyable, but not essential.
From Fopp’s bargain bin I got copies of the remastered, expanded reissues of the first two Fall albums. Live at the Witch Trials (Castle 847) is a double CD with a adequately recorded live set as well as singles as bonuses. Dragnet (Castle 848) just has the Fiery Jack and Rowche Rumble 45s as well as loads of rejected takes (four of Rowche Rumble) which are fun to listen to once – at most. Dragnet is probably the better album, although both are crackers.
Finally, for a measly quid I snaffled a copy of Preston Reed‘s Metal (Outer Bridge 1002 2002). With cover blurbs acclaiming it as “one of the most unique and challenging guitar albums ever” and “a conspicuous guitar genius”, I couldn’t pass it over at that price. What you get is thirteen tracks of incredibly dextrous, and often mind-poppingly fast acoustic guitar. Eschewing the atmospheres of Loren Connors and the folksy atonalities of John Fahey, Reed pitches up somewhere between John McLaughlin and Ry Cooder, covering blistering bluegrass, jazz-picking and (as the title suggests) metal riffing – all on unaccompanied acoustic. Great stuff. It doesn’t seem to be in print any more, alas.