Sunday, August 29, 2004

Finns. Lali Puna, Neotropic & Wagon Christ

The Finn Brothers' Homesick is from their new LP Everyone Is Here. You aren't getting anything ground breaking or new from Neil and Tim - these guys have always crafted intelligent, melodic rock that your parents might like. This tune is has a bit of country rock flavor - it features some nice steel guitar, lovely piano and a big string accompaniment, as well as the usual expert harmonizing.

Lali Puna's Alienation is a track from their latest remix EP (for the song Micronomic). Anticon recording artist Alias handles the remix of this track, and instead of abstract hip hop he crafts a nice bit of glitchy ambient pop - hand-clappy beats, mournful keys, Valerie's vocals floating in and out of the mix. It's a nice little EP, also featuring a remix from Boom Bip.

Neotropic's Riz Mazlen has been at it for about a decade now, releasing a bunch of records on NinjaTune's now defunct side label nTone. Her latest LP White Rabbit is out now on Mush Records - it was a very pleasant surprise to learn that the album was largely recorded here in the Twin Cities, and features several key players from the local post rock scene including Dosh's Martin Dosh and Lateduster's JG Everest. Inch Inch is a lovely guitar and piano driven tune that drifts prettily along until it fades into a couple of minutes of noise and hiss. Watching Riz go from the hardcore electro and beats of her earliest stuff to the mellow, more organic tracks she does now has been cool. A very nice record.

Wagon Christ's Kwikwidetrax is from his latest album Sorry I Make You Lush It's Luke Vibert's 3rd album in a year (following Yoseph and Kerrier District) and some people might think he's stretching it a bit thin. Personally I really dig what he does with his different personas, and on Kwikwidetrax he does the loopy sci fi hip hop thing. The tune starts off with a thumping house tempo bass drum and some toasting and suddenly melts into a bumping hip hop beat, then slowly starts adding squelchy jazz funk synths and the usual odd vocal samples - the clincher for me is the deftly cut string sample he uses - it's a beauty. Yeah, it ain't nothing new, but damn it sure is funky.

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