February 9 - February 15, 1995

[Quick Scans]


Consciousness III
4 Stars
A CLASSIC IN every sense: maintaining conceptual continuity, deftly probing Ambient's boundaries, crafting a thoroughly listenable piece of beautiful sounds. Artist Kim Cascone received formal training in electronic music and went on to work with David Lynch before starting Silent Records and adopting HMC as his alter-ego. This is psychedelia at its purest.

Concept: an organic, mutable work of textures and effects that pique emotional receptors and plug into theorist Charles Reich's (hence the title) proposals for neo-utopian youth culture. Ambient: pulsing on soma waves of dreampop melodies ("Interdimensional"); melting into an inner space tidal bath and swimming with chuckling A.I.'s ("Sunfish = Starflower"). Listenable: for lengthy relaxation, focused meditation, and task accompaniment alike.
--Fred Mills


Mr. Gentle, Mr. Cool
Kokopelli Records
3 Stars
NEWMAN, LIKE EDDIE Harris and Hank Crawford, made a career in the '60s and '70s as a saxman with a heavier emphasis on the blues than was taken by other jazz players.

His newest disc is a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington, a jazz composer who consistently relied on the blues for inspiration throughout his career. Half of the songs are so familiar the average jazz fan may dismiss the album in advance, as did this reviewer. But thanks to the arrangements of Robert Freedman and the sleek style of Newman, even the most overplayed standards are successfully resuscitated. Newman throughout demonstrates his ability to balance the rawness and regality that originally brought Ellington fame.
--Dave McElfresh


Alien I.D.
K Records
3 Stars
THIS PERFECTLY NAMED combo blows outta the K stable like a mortar. The indie label is frequently associated with more shambling, cutesy pop, and with mewling grrrl punk as well. K.G. references both, but its roots seem to extend deeper, back to late '70s Great Britain when groups like The Raincoats, The Slits, Mekons, ATV and others beat the post-Pistols tribal tom-tom loudly and lustily.

In other words, K.G. knows how to rock a three-chord progression when it wants to keep stage divers happy. And it also engages the brainier element in the audience by tossing in slightly askew melodies, trance-drone interludes, hiccupy rhythmic clatter and dissonant vocal harmonies.
--Fred Mills

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February 9 - February 15, 1995

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