Supernatural Charlatan Senses Free

The music purchases have slowed down a little recently, although I am only 11 purchases behind where I was in October last year. Still, I have four rather different releases to speak of.

Santana – Supernatural

I am not really a Santana fan, but I bought this anyway because I thought it would be good to have at least one of his albums, he is after all an excellent guitar player and his music is unique.

I have only listened to this once, and I liked what I heard, but I think it is more of a in-the-background album rather than something you crank up and groove out to.

This is his seventeenth album, and probably caused Carlos to have to buy another cabinet because it went platinum fifteen times, and it received eight Grammy’s including Album of the Year. It sold over 30 million copies, making it Santana’s best selling album.

Click on the album cover above to listen to a track from the album.

The Charlatans – The Charlatans v. The Chemical Brothers

I bought this while I was in Good Times buying The Stranglers record last week. Before going to the counter I had a quick look in the CD section and found this for only 100 yen. It is a remix EP which I usually don’t go for as I don’t like remixes for the most part, but I thought the combination of The Charlatans and The Chemical Brothers might make for good sounds.

Unfortunately it is not very good, my remix aversion is still quite justified. But, it is OK to have, I guess.

Click on the album cover.

Senses Fail – If There Is Light It Will Find You

Senses Fail are a band I discovered when playing a fave Sony PSP game many years ago, one of their songs was on the game soundtrack along with at least two other bands I got into. Since then I have been collecting all of the albums and this is their latest album, released this year. I bought it on Bandcamp.

Senses Fail never release a bad album, and this one is no exception. It is not their best album, but it is still a very good album.

Senses Fail are a post-hardcore band, and are also described as emo, screamo, and metalcore. I should probably be a lot younger to admit I like this band, but inside I still feel 25, so that’s OK.

Broke For Free – XXVII

I discovered Broke For Free on Free Music Archive some times ago and liked him (it is just one guy) so much I downloaded all of his releases.

This album is on Bandcamp, and was released in 2016. I thought I had better pay for his music for once so I just bought it this very evening.

A quick listen shows that it is yet another good release. Have a listen yourself here, then throw some money his way why don’t you?

Recently I have decided to pretty much stop buying CDs. I want to concentrate on vinyl for a while, and support bands by buying downloads mostly on Bandcamp. Also, with almost 1000 CDs just sitting on my bookshelf all day doing nothing I feel that it is a bit of a waste. Vinyl is cool to have, but I continue to buy them at a slow rate. Perhaps I will buy the odd CD if it is something unique, rare, or just plain cheapo.

Something I would like to see is a cross between a record and a download. If record companies were to make a really nice 7″-sized cardboard album sleeve with a high quality booklet inside that has the lyrics, pretty pictures, and a download coupon where you can get the music, I would be willing to pay a bit extra for it. That way you could have your music sorted in special sized bins that don’t take up too much space and you could flick through your collection as though you were in a record store. Dang, I would really like that!

A record I bought online from England is on the way and should arrive any day soon, and it is definitely going to be the most prized vinyl in my collection so far. So I will blog about that very soon hopefully.

Music count 2018: 101

Five Sounds On The Cheap

I have five musical delights to speak of, and it all cost very little, always a bonus.

Mashed Youth Records – Red Collection Vol. 1

I was looking around Bandcamp for some free dubstep, drum and bass, or jungle music when I cam across this.

Even though it had a “name your price” I didn’t enter “zero” and instead paid the minimum 0.5 Euro so it would be included in my Bandcamp collection.

It is a collection of six songs from three artists I have never heard of. All six songs are upbeat and have plenty of BPM’s. The songs also have bit of a reggae vibe to them which makes them even more natty.

Here is the Bandcamp page.

Fanu – Polku EP


After buying the previous release, I was doing a little more drum ‘n’ bass searching and ended up buying this release as well. Again, it was free but I paid 0.50 Euro for it.

It is a drum and bass EP released by a fellow from Finland who calls himself “Fanu”, or “Fatgyver”. He has released quite a few EPs, singles, and some albums, but I chose this one because it was the first one of his I came across.

It is pretty good, quite relaxing to listen to. Have a listen here.

Kula Shaker – K

As I did the Saturday before, I raced off to Hard Off to buy music instead of wasting money on parking. The first disc I found in the bargain bins was this one.

I knew nothing of Kula Shaker before buying this, I had not even heard one single song. But, I knew the name, and a quick look on the internet showed that this, their first album, sold bucketloads back in 1996 when it was released. In fact it became the fastest selling debut album in the U.K. then (in the current decade One Direction hold that title).

The music itself is fine, but nothing that grabs me all that much. It is described as psychedelic rock, but it also has a very Brit-pop sound to it, and some songs mix in Indian music, mysticism, and lyrics.

Not an essential record, but worth a listen to again some day.

Pulp – This is Hardcore

Pulp are one of those bands that I am not all that fussed on, but I usually end up buying anyway, especially if it is cheap.

Not a bad album, but I am not all that fussed on it.

Propellerheads – Decksandrumsandrockandroll

Like Kula Shaker, I had heard of this band yet had not heard their music.

The music is fine, but nothing special. It is not one of those albums I will play very often, but it is good to have in the collection.

Here is one of their songs from the album. Actually, after listening to this song I realised that maybe a second listen of the album is in order, maybe I will warm to it a bit more.

This is their only album to date, and while they seem to have stopped in 2003 there is some talk of a second album.

Music count 2018: 94

Deaf Non-Plussed JPEG Kid Swims

I have one CD and four Bandcamp purchases to report on.

Die! Die! Die! – Swim

Die! Die! Die! is a Dunedin band I have been slowly collecting releases from. They are classed as a punk band, but that is not really accurate…more of a noise rock band, not that it really matters.

This album came out in 2014 and I remember at the time wanting to get it, but forgot about it. So finally I bought it on Bandcamp, and while it is nothing new from them it is still a very worthy album.

They released a new album last year, so I will get around to buying that some day.

Radiohead – Kid A

As I have mentioned before I am not a huge Radiohead fan, but I never pass up a chance to buy an album of theirs if it is a reasonable price. I paid 300 yen for this I think, which is a bargain for a used Radiohead CD. A sticker on the cover said it had scratches, but I just cannot see any damage whatsoever on the CD although the plastic case is a bit roughed up so perhaps that is it.

The music itself is good, but does not grab me any more than any other Radiohead album. No regrets though.

Deafheaven – Roads to Judah

My obsession with Deafheaven continues with this Bandcamp purchase, their first album.

Actually, I have not had a good listen, but what I have heard is pure aural bliss. You can decide for yourself by listening to them here.

JPEGMafia – Veteran

Earlier tonight I did a search on Googles for “best of Bandcamp” and found this experimental hip hop release. It was a “Name your price” release, so I paid a few dollars and gleefully downloaded it.

Again, I have not had a good listen, but I have been getting into experimental hip hop recently and this one seems like a pretty good one. Listen for yourself, that is the best thing to do.

NONPLUS 043 – Pre Dawn / Indoors by Burial

While I was on Bandcamp earlier I decided to see if Burial had any new releases, and on his page there was nothing. But, after following a few links I came across this two-track release.

NONPLUS is a record label in the U.K. and this appears to be the only Burial release they have.

It is pure Burial, so is Golden Gordon all the way. Listen here.

Music count 2018: 86

Faster Than Humbug

The music purchasing is still a bit anemic, so I have only two to speak of.

Bulletbelt – Faster Than Death

I was internetting a few nights ago, and I came across this release on Bandcamp.

Bulletbelt are a Wellington (New Zealand) black metal band who have been metalling since 2009. Usually I don’t go for black metal, but this was just so darn catchy that I had to buy it immediately…it was only NZ$2 anyway.

As I said it is catchy, and is really more thrash metal than black. It is also very well produced, it sounds good cranked up a bit. They have three albums as well, but after sampling those I decided that this single will be about all I buy from them for the moment, they all didn’t grab me much.

Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

The Arctic Monkeys are a band I have only gotten into in recent times, beginning with their first album which is top stuff. I also have a few other albums and an EP, so when I saw this album buying it was a forgone conclusion.

And it is a decent album, but at this point I would say it is not nearly as good as the first album. No regrets though. I am looking forward to listening to their latest album which from what I have read is good stuff, and quite different.

Next Monday we are off to Tokyo for one night, so I will be going to Shibuya where there are a couple of vinyl places I want to visit, along with my usual haunts when I go there. Looking forward to it.

Music count 2018: 73

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

This is the latest album by Deafheaven, a band I wish I got into a long time ago, but it ain’t no thing.

I pre-ordered this on Bandcamp a couple of months ago, and last Friday I was glued to Bandcamp, waiting for it to finally be released. I downloaded it and listened to it shortly after.

It did not disappoint. One song was released before the album came out, “Honeycomb” which I mentioned in a post back in April. I was wondering if maybe that song would be the highlight of the album, but as it turns out each and every song are works of metallic-shoegaze art (labelling Deafheaven is a tricky thing, I like to call them shoegaze metal).

Definitley not to everyone’s tastes, but I think it is pure bliss.

Music count 2018: 71

An Aural Binary of Putrid Reckonings

I have only two purchases to write about this time around.

R.E.M. – Reckoning

After the recent disappointing purchases I decided to be much more careful about choosing new music, spending more than the usual 280 yen per CD (this was 500 yen) and this one is a result of that new directive.

This is R.E.M.’s second album, one that I had not even heard one song from before. And it is very good, very R.E.M.

A fine addition to the R.E.M. collection, and a good start to my new and improved music selection process.

Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction

I had this album on vinyl a long time ago, and I now wish I still had it…why oh why did I sell it?

This is Carcass’ first album and is much maligned due to it’s terrible recording. From Wikipedia:

Reek of Putrefaction was recorded in four days at Ritch Bitch Studios in Birmingham. According to guitarist Bill Steer, the studio’s engineer “ruined” the record, especially its drum tracks. Carcass had only had a few hours available of mixing, so they had to release the LP as it was to meet the label’s deadline. The band were “everything but happy” with the end result, declared Steer.

When the master recording was first sent to the pressing plant, the original vinyl LP had to be pressed at lower volumes, because the bass frequencies were so low (sometimes reaching 25 Hz) that they were in danger of rendering higher frequencies inaudible.

Indeed it sounds pretty bad, but in a way it adds to the atmosphere of the album. But, when I saw on Bandcamp that there is a “Full Dynamic Range Edition” I had to get it to see what that is all about. Earache (the record label) are re-releasing their back catalogue by taking the original tapes and instead of fiddling about with all of the buttons, knobs, and sliders to try to make the sound better, have instead preserved the original dynamic range as recorded. The reason for all the fiddling back in the day was due to something called the “loudness war“, which is something I had not heard of before.

Anyway, this new recording does sound a little better, but not as much as I would have hoped. There are 22 tracks on topics such as detruncation, fermenting innards, and excretions of various things.

This is a classic grindcore album, certainly not to most people’s tastes, but I am an avowed Carcass fan, and John Peel called it the best album of 1988, so there you go.

Music count 2018: 70

An Enneadic Fusion of Omnifarious Tunes

The music purchasing has slowed down somewhat in the last few weeks, if not months, but a sudden spurt in the last week or so has yielded an assortment of CDs and downloads. So here they are in no particular order.

Gazelle Twin – Hobby Horse

I stumbled on this while perusing through Bandcamp’s catalogue, and liked what I heard. Gazelle Twin is the stage name of Elizabeth Bernholz, who likes to perform on-stage in a blue tracksuit, and a kind of stocking over her head. She says it is a version of her P.E. uniform that she wore in high school.

This purchase had only two songs which are quirky, but I quite like it.

3TEETH, Ho99o9 – Lights Out

Another Bandcamp purchase, and again only two songs. It is a collaboration between 3TEETH, who I have never heard of before, and Ho99o9, who I had just recently discovered. Good stuff, kind of hardcore/metal/electronic music with a bit of The Prodigy thrown in.

NOFX – So Long And Thanks For The Shoes

I went to a place way across town called “Hard Off” (a sister company of Book Off) that sell used stuff like furniture, clothes, games, cameras, and all other kinds of things, quite often over-priced. There is a decent CD selection there, and even a small vinyl section. And there is a CD bargain shelf with everything costing only 100 yen. So I had a good look through and came away with three albums, this one and the next two.

NOFX are not a band I am particularly fussed on, and this album does not change that. It is standard California punk stuff and quite forgettable. For 100 yen though I am not complaining at all.

Terrible album cover.

Ice-T – Home Invasion

An album from the O.G. for 100 yen…score!

Pearl Jam – Riot Act

As I mentioned a while ago in another post I seem to be collecting Pearl Jam albums, even though I am not really a huge fan, just slightly interested. So when I came across this in the bargain shelf I could not pass it up.

The music is quite standard stuff, I am listening to it as I type and are just waiting for it to end so I can listen to some Ian Brown.

Betty Boo – Boomania

I remember getting this way back in the day, 1990, and buying it because it was a catchy novelty thing. Listening to it now though I feel that this really should have stayed in the 90’s. It is still catchy, but not really something that I needed to listen to again.

She is still in the music business these days, but seems to be writing songs for others, and has not released a song of her own since 2007 (her last album was in 1992).

Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescents

This is an EP of four songs, with the title track coming from their Favourite Worst Nightmare album. Good stuff, I like it a lot.

The Cooper Temple Clause – See This Through And Leave

I just bought this tonight after work on a very hot day (a high of 37 degrees today), I just felt like buying some tunes. I spent a while looking through the 280 yen section at Book Off and was about to give up due to the paltry choices, but determined to get something I settled on this.

I have not had a good listen yet, but a quick sampling of some songs gives me the impression that this too is going to be a bit mediocre.

Charlie Parker – Bird Symbols

I dropped by my fave used vinyl shop again to see what I could find, and settled upon this for only 680 yen. The cover is a bit worn, but the record itself is good. The music though did not grab me as much as I was hoping.

I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but I think I am just not a fan of the saxophone, which is probably all Kenny G’s fault. After a few more listens it might grow on me, but I am now wishing I had bought a Stanley Clarke album I saw there for the same price. I may go and get that sometime soon.

So most of the music I have bought recently has been a bit disappointing. I think I am going to have to be a pit more picky, and maybe stay away from the bargains. I still plan on blowing ten grand on vinyl sometime. I might just do that next time I am in Tokyo, which will hopefully be sometime this summer (Tokyo is bananas hot in summer though).

Music count 2018: 68