LEM
Put a Lem in Your Pocket

[Cassette Vision, www.cassette-vision.com]

APARTMENT
Apantgarde

[Finderpop, www.finderpoplabel.com]

KIWAKO KANEDA
Mountainbook

[Cassette Vision, www.cassette-vision.com]

While very few people outside of Japan are listening, Cassette-Vision/Finderpop label is quietly releasing some of the best soft electronic-folk records around.
Living in Fukuoka, Japan, Lem is actually one Goro Tanaka. His debut release "Put a Lem in Your Pocket" [title grabbed from a 60's porno book] is a gently rolling vision of a more peaceful, more coherent world. Clocking at just under 27 minutes, the CD is more or less a tranquil ride in the country inhabited by electronica, folk [I think the new term now is "folktronica"] and tiny elements of dub. Lots of shimmering percussion, organs, cheap effects and sampled vocals make this album their home. Bits and pieces of keyboards penetrate the atmosphere. The mood is overtly tranquil. When Lem decides to sing something, it's more along the lines of mumbling, rather than actual vocalizing. Highly melodic and unusually tender, the music allows you to just sink right into the mood, rather than concentrate on any one song. Romantic, hushed and airy, Lem's debut is an elegant affair that leaves great hopes for this musician for future releases.
Apartment is one very young [21 year old] Tatsuya Namai. Influenced as much by The Velvet Underground as he is by someone like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, this guy just wants to rock out, while maintaining his pop sensibilities in tact. Texturally, the songs are very rich. Tatsuya's vocals are vibrant [recalling Lennon circa "Help!"] while his guitar work is jingle-jangle all the way through. My only beef is I'm not sure what exactly it is that he's singing about - love? depression? politics? The production is so rough in fact, that all of your attention stays with the instruments, instead of vocals that seem to buried deep beneath the surface. Some of the tracks recall an earlier era, as in the 50's. Who can honestly say that "Lost My Youth" doesn't recall the surf sounds of The Shadows? All of the material seems to be bathed in a wall of dirty, jangly sound. The other drawback with the record is its brevity. Is 25 minutes really enough to put across everything Apartment wanted to say on their debut? Regardless, "Apantgarde" is a strong debut from someone I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot from in the next few years.
Finally, we move to Kiwako Kaneda's debut effort "Mountainbook". Psychedelia was definitely at the front of her mind when she was producing this record [make that an EP]. I don't know what sort of acid she was on during the recording, but this stuff really messes with your head. The last track, for instance, features a child-like voice that is sung on top of a cheap beat-box. The title track once again has Kiwako vocalizing in the midst of some organ that seams to be spun backwards. Can you say, we're trying to find the voice of satan here? Much of this music is naďve, childish and even sweet. When she plays guitar, the notes come out soft and caressing. The mood is mixed between a dark, tender notes and those that just seen to float away and disappear into thin air. There's nothing better in the morning than "Mountainbook" to cure the hangover blues.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Caliban - The Undying Darkness
+ Darzamat - Transkarpatia
+ John Zorn - '50 Anniversery Concert: Painkiller
+ Allen Ginsberg - New York Blues: Rags, Ballads & Harmonium Songs
+ Kenneth Patchen - Jazz in Canada
+ Sten Hanson - Text-Sound Gems & Trinkets
+ Ayuo - Aoi
+ Fushitsusha - Origin's Hesitation
+ Ms. John Soda - Notes And The Like
+ Readymade FC - Paradiso
+ Pulsarus - Digital Freejazz / Łoskot - Sun
+ Miwon - Pale Glitter
+ Maximum Joy - Unlimited 1979 - 1983
+ Water Lily - Dissdance / Lopazz/Bad Cop Bad Cop - Lasergun/Cube 1
+ Karol Schwarz All Stars - Greatest Hits
+ Jackson & His Computer Band - Smash
+ Isolee - Western Store
+ Johannes Heil - Freaks R Us
+ Dell - Flugel - Superstructure
+ Evan Parker Trio and Peter Brotzmann Trio - The Bishop's Move
+ Erast - Cyberpunk
+ Dictaphone - Vertigo II
+ Ed Davenport - Diminuendo
+ Creme De Menthe - The Impossibility Of Evolution In The Suburbs
+ Context Unrevelled
+ Banabila & Monoscope - Live Mix
+ Phillip Sollmann - Something Is Missing
+ Stereo Total - Discotheque
+ Miles Tilmann - Xenon
+ The Timeout Drawer - Alone

- - - - - - - - -

+ MASSACRE - Killing Time / SKELETON CREW - The Country of Blinds / Learn to Talk
+ MICHEL DONEDA - L'Élémentaire Sonore / Solo Las Planques
+ EXPLODING CUSTOMER - Live at Tampere Jazz Happening
>> LEM - Put a Lem in Your Pocket / APARTMENT - Apantgarde / KIWAKO KANEDA - Mountainbook
+ MICHAEL McGOLDRICK - Wired
+ STEPHEN FLINN / NOAH PHILLIPS DUO AND TRIO WITH TIM PERKINS - Square Circle
+ MICATONE - Nomad Songs
+ NEXT LIFE - Electric Violence
+ DELL + FLUGEL - Superstructure
+ K.K. NULL / CHRIS WATSON / Z'EV - Number One
+ OREN MARSHALL - Introduction to the Story of Spedy Sponda, Part One: In a Silent Room
+ THANKSGIVING - Thanksgiving / MARATHON MEN - Blessings / ALESSANDRA ROMBOLA - Urueńa / CHESSIE - Dual Mode / ROBIN FOX & CLAYTON THOMAS - Substation / HAMMOCK - Kenotic / Stranded Under Endless Sky / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Boogybytes, Vol. 1 - Mixed by Kiki / TETSU INOUE - Yolo / DALE LLOYD - Semper / ANTHONY GUERRA / NISHIDE TAKEHIRO - Scopa Possibilities / YUKO NEXUS6 - Nexus6 Songbook
+ MIKE LADD - Negrophilia / Mike Ladd Presents Father Divine
+ SPACEMEN 3 - Forged Prescriptions / SPECTRUM - Refractions - Thru The Rhythms of Time: 1989-1997
+ STEVE LEHMAN - Demian as Posthuman
+ THE BEAUTIFUL NEW BORN CHILDREN - Hey People! / SONS AND DAUGHTERS - The Repulsion Box / FIRE ENGINES - Codex Teenage Premonition / ORANGE JUICE - The Glasgow School
+ ALVIN LUCIER - Anthony Burr / Charles Curtis
+ HOWE GELB - 'Sno Angel Like You / ARIZONA AMP AND ALTERNATOR - Arizona Amp and Alternator
+ JIMMY EDGAR - Color Strip
+ 3/4HadBeenEliminated - 3/4HadBeenEliminated / 3/4HadBeenEliminated - A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation
+ GINO ZARDO - Walking East
+ RICHARD CHARTIER - Tracing

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Tajemnicza emocja - wywiad z Kostasem Georgakopulos [Progrram]