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click to enlarge A Frames  -  - Black Forest  - Sub Pop -  - Black Forest's opening song, "Black Forest - I," is one minute and 11 seconds of pure, sluggish, - steamplant sexiness -- dark, thumping and ultimately - hip-moving. The song isn't typical of the rest of the - album, but there are worse ways to hook a gal. Seattle's - A Frames might best be described as clanging post- - punk; dark New Wave without the sythesizers and styling - gel. The vocals never vary throughout the album -- a - deep drone delivered by guitarist and vocalist - Emphysema. Joined by backing members Cholera (bass) - and Ricketts (drums), the album is initially cool and - interesting, but the lack of variation gets old. "Eva Braun" - is a slow song that is deathly dull, while "Flies" finally - mixes things up a bit, featuring dischordant guitar and - bass with equally dischordant male and female vocals. - The end result is a sort of danceable theme to SNL's - "Sprockets" -- weird, sexy and a bit decadent. -  - -- Kara Luger
  • A Frames

    Black Forest
    Sub Pop

    Black Forest's opening song, "Black Forest I," is one minute and 11 seconds of pure, sluggish, steamplant sexiness -- dark, thumping and ultimately hip-moving. The song isn't typical of the rest of the album, but there are worse ways to hook a gal. Seattle's A Frames might best be described as clanging post- punk; dark New Wave without the sythesizers and styling gel. The vocals never vary throughout the album -- a deep drone delivered by guitarist and vocalist Emphysema. Joined by backing members Cholera (bass) and Ricketts (drums), the album is initially cool and interesting, but the lack of variation gets old. "Eva Braun" is a slow song that is deathly dull, while "Flies" finally mixes things up a bit, featuring dischordant guitar and bass with equally dischordant male and female vocals. The end result is a sort of danceable theme to SNL's "Sprockets" -- weird, sexy and a bit decadent.

    -- Kara Luger

click to enlarge Miles Davis  -  - Miles in Berlin -  - Miles in Tokyo  - Columbia/Legacy  -  - It's a good thing the jazz-heads at Columbia Records dig - Miles Davis so much. For the past few years they've been - spitting out reissues of his extensive music catalog, - lovingly remastered for an entirely new generation. Just - this month, six new CDs hit the streets, among them - these two concerts recorded two months apart in 1964. - Miles in Tokyo (July '64) and Miles in Berlin - are fascinating because they trace the birth of - perhaps the greatest jazz quintet ever. On Miles in - Berlin, the addition of tenor saxophonist Wayne - Shorter to the crew of Davis on trumpet, Herbie Hancock - on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on - drums proves to be a magic ingredient. The crisply - played up-tempo reworkings of Davis standards, like "So - What" from Kind of Blue, are so confidently - brilliant that Berlin is the live album - capable of enlightening new listeners. Ironically, the - Japan session recorded two months earlier, with Sam - Rivers on tenor sax, is far less Zenlike in its powers. This - disk reveals a darker, more squalid band, with Rivers' - free-jazz stylings standing out. While Tokyo - may be a cult classic, Berlin is for anyone who - seeks the very best of Davis' live band. -  - -- Dan Wilcock
  • Miles Davis

    Miles in Berlin

    Miles in Tokyo
    Columbia/Legacy

    It's a good thing the jazz-heads at Columbia Records dig Miles Davis so much. For the past few years they've been spitting out reissues of his extensive music catalog, lovingly remastered for an entirely new generation. Just this month, six new CDs hit the streets, among them these two concerts recorded two months apart in 1964. Miles in Tokyo (July '64) and Miles in Berlin are fascinating because they trace the birth of perhaps the greatest jazz quintet ever. On Miles in Berlin, the addition of tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter to the crew of Davis on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums proves to be a magic ingredient. The crisply played up-tempo reworkings of Davis standards, like "So What" from Kind of Blue, are so confidently brilliant that Berlin is the live album capable of enlightening new listeners. Ironically, the Japan session recorded two months earlier, with Sam Rivers on tenor sax, is far less Zenlike in its powers. This disk reveals a darker, more squalid band, with Rivers' free-jazz stylings standing out. While Tokyo may be a cult classic, Berlin is for anyone who seeks the very best of Davis' live band.

    -- Dan Wilcock

click to enlarge Los Super 7  -  - Heard It on the X  - Telarc  -  - Fans of cross-cultural collaborations such as Buena - Vista Social Club will love this new album by Los - Super 7. This is roots music as played along the Rio - Grande, mariachi dueling with rotgut blues and old-style - country, all brought to a simmer along the sun-bleached - border. The album's title is a tribute to the huge radio - transmitters that were erected along the Mexican side of - the border during the Great Depression. Far more - powerful than those legally allowed in the United States, - these "Power X" stations blasted a kind of cultural - exchange from coast to coast. Each song invites a guest - vocalist. From the marichi-tinged "El Burro Song" - featuring Raul Malo to "I Live the Life I Love" starring - Delbert McClinton, everything is top notch. For anyone - who is sick of the lifeless, computer-driven music that - passes as pop today, Los Super 7 is the perfect antidote. -  - -- Dan Wilcock
  • Los Super 7

    Heard It on the X
    Telarc

    Fans of cross-cultural collaborations such as Buena Vista Social Club will love this new album by Los Super 7. This is roots music as played along the Rio Grande, mariachi dueling with rotgut blues and old-style country, all brought to a simmer along the sun-bleached border. The album's title is a tribute to the huge radio transmitters that were erected along the Mexican side of the border during the Great Depression. Far more powerful than those legally allowed in the United States, these "Power X" stations blasted a kind of cultural exchange from coast to coast. Each song invites a guest vocalist. From the marichi-tinged "El Burro Song" featuring Raul Malo to "I Live the Life I Love" starring Delbert McClinton, everything is top notch. For anyone who is sick of the lifeless, computer-driven music that passes as pop today, Los Super 7 is the perfect antidote.

    -- Dan Wilcock

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