URBAN HOMES: Centres CD/LP Altin Village & Mine
Centralising their sound on a cross of organic and electronic, Urban Homes have been pencilled in as a Post-Punk outfit. In some respects this is true, but there is a whole heap of influences throughout ‘Centres’ such as House and Krautrock, Disco and Dub that steer the outfit away from the tag they’ve been given.
‘Aurora’, is most likely the closest track that this four piece can be tied to the genre with and that’s mainly down to the programming of the drum machine, reminiscent of Joy Division somewhat. Musically however, their combination of electronics sounds somewhat spacey and more in key with eighties pop influences.
There is something about Urban Homes that is infinitely accessible. Many a range is covered dynamically and whilst the majority of this is not exactly my cup of tea there is much to shout about with regards to production and technical competency. Vague elements of this release also remind me in some ways of the variation displayed by PIL; it has to be said though, that I have never been a fan of some of their work either.
‘Centres’, is tailored for the older market; a time when Punk had run its course and some moved on towards the mainstream. That area of the music industry provided a heck of a lot of obscure pop if truth-be-told; nonetheless, this fits like the missing jigsaw piece to that era fairly comfortably.
TANNHÄUSER STERBEN & DAS TOD: Eigengift CD/LP Altin Village & Mine
Experimental freeform jazz elements permeate ‘Eigengift’ throughout with subtle electronics to gel everything together with a rock groove that hits from varying different eras. The opening track ‘Glashaus’ really left me somewhat cold, but is immediately overshadowed by the more stable ‘Endfilm’ which combined modern rock with a touch of background sentimentalities touching on some of SWANS’ work musically (only just), and eventually comes crashing down in a wall of electronic noise.
Whilst I don’t like pigeonholing artists, sometimes it makes for easier reviewing (and listening more often than not). TS & DT are extremely difficult to pin down in a lot of respects, although a lot of the raucous beats and grinding bass were a welcome distraction from the vocals sometimes.
A lot of ‘Eigengift has a ritualistic feel to it. ‘Zellophan’ sounds like a more up to date Z’ev and as the clattering noise abruptly ends the cut n’ paste programming of ‘2011’ follows suit, but in an altogether different way and is ultimately my favourite track on this release, daring to toy with modernity, but ultimately tossing that aside.
What we have is one of those bizarre albums that leave you scratching your head once its over. I wasn’t immediately won over with this, but eventually the madness sank in and there is something imminently listenable to this release that you can’t quite put your finger on.