crackling in gold
Happy birthday to Lisa!
So I've got a new more-or-less monthly column in the Chicago Reader, called "Product"; it'll focus on things having to do with the music business-as-business. Sort of like my old "Sound of the Industry" columns in the Voice, but not really. The first one can now be read (as a PDF only) on the Reader's site.
Album of the day is I Like It, Vol. 2 (Compost). I loved the first volume of this--which was also the only place to hear Arthur Russell's "In the Light of the Miracle" before the Soul Jazz comp came out, and included a TV Personalities song on top of that--and I love the concept: four DJs each present three of their favorite secret-weapon tracks. Not mixed, not even necessarily dance music, more like a concentrated version of the "Back to Mine" series. Of the 13 tracks here (there's a bonus, Trickski's "Hormony," all of whose interesting elements are lifted, as far as I can tell, from the Chemical Brothers' "Star Guitar"), I'd only heard three before, and one of them is reasonably far up there on my own hit parade: Propaganda's "Frozen Faces (Echo)," a ten-minute icicle-funk remix (with abbatoir-drain-walking saxophone) of a song that was pretty scary to begin with. ("The drums are stained with blood. Don't look at this disaster," Claudia Brücken intoned, and teenage Douglas's heart palpitated.) That's one of Trevor Jackson's picks, and one of the others is really impressive too: Colourbox's "Baby I Love You So." a cover of the not-particularly-famous Jacob Miller song of which "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" is the considerably more famous dub version. As you might guess, it's an excuse to approximate "KTMRU," via mid-'80s synth-pop, which means it's a formal exercise of the kind I adore, and it also bumps.
This one's not what you'd call consistent, but it's not supposed to be either. Most surprising track: Pole choosing David Thomas's "Monster Magee, King of the Seas." Most disappointing set: Richard Dorfmeister, who picks an unspectacular piano-improv piece, a so-so quasi-Afro-disco track, and a Can B-side ("Shikako Maru Ten") notable only for being a Can B-side. Best comment about a track on here: L., noting of Elbee Bad's "Just Don't Stop the Dance": "Hmm. 1997, Twilo, 4 AM..."