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Eclectic Vibes - May 2011


CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

Sphongle

OF MONTREAL GETS UNIONIZED
A blast of entertainment and excitement was on the agenda for the opening day (4/15/11) of the newly completed UW Madison Union South complex and we were there to experience a portion of it.

Students were also eager to imbibe in what the site had to offer so the building was buzzing with activity. The several cafes and general store were all stocked and offered many options to those in need. In addition to a movie theater (The Marquee) the entertainment anchor for the building is called The Sett which is the scientific name for a badger burrow. This cleverly named hot spot contains a stage, a rock climbing wall and a bowling alley (in the basement) as well as beer, food, billiards, and TVs, to keep guests occupied at all times of day and night.

We became enmeshed with the colorful crowd that was anxious to be a part of the first show in the large second floor multifunctional room set up as concert venue for the evening. It was a sold out show for Of Montreal, but we were plenty early so that was no problem.

For some reason local metal munsters ‘Lords of the Trident’ opened the show, followed by the more appropriate opener ‘Morning Teleportation’ and their psychedelic indie rock.

Of Montreal took the stage with flavor and style. Lead vocalist and group founder Kevin Barnes showed up wearing a ruffled purple top, a bonnet, a striped mini skirt and blue boots. The other seven musicians in the band littered the stage with equipment and pizazz while two quick changing costumed performers had other visual treats to offer. Throughout the show they donned wrestling masks, checkerboard bodysuits, silver fish outfits, bird costumes, pig heads, and straightjackets to keep the crowd at attention.

A video screen behind the band added the perfect amount of psychedelic dalliances during the performance. They played a nice selection of old and new and before we knew it, their set apexed and they were done. What a great way to inaugurate this incredible new UW building!

MAD TOWN GETS THE SHPONGLETRON
April 26 was a life changing day. That was the day that Simon Posford brought the Shpongletron experience to the Majestic Theater in Madison. Nothing would be the same again.

We arrived just as opener Random Rab took to the dance floor. His DJ booth was actually set up ON the dance floor because the Shpongletron claimed the ENTIRE stage. It would have claimed even more had the stage been bigger, but as it was we were only able to experience an abbreviated (shortened) version due to the size restriction.

Random Rab put on a fairly long and quite diverse set of highly varied electronica that was certainly enjoyable, but definitely not Shpongle. We were anxious for the digital shamanism of the Shpongletron to erupt and spew mind melting matter to and fro.

When the time was right, the Shprongletron became active and using cutting edge projection mapping technology actually DID come to life! Images swirled and whirled and the formerly white 3D model of the multi eyed Shpongle face blinked, winked and manifested. We were treated to projection after amazing projection of amazing psychedelic mind candy that linked to the flowing and effervescent electronica emanating from the speakers. This multi-dimensional and multi-sensory experience fed the flock of psychonauts that were in attendance and we couldn’t have been happier.

On a note of amazing synchronicity I had just read online that scientists may have actually found the elusive sub atomic particle known as the Higgs boson, aka the God molecule. Late in the set I found myself right in front of the Shpongletron as it showed videos of a supercollider attempting to find that exact molecule! It makes sense since the new Shpongle release is called ‘The God Molecule.”
The show was invigorating, inspiring and one of the most stunning visual treats I have ever witnessed. I am so thankful the Shpongletron came to Madison!

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Wank thru 10 is Dank
Easy Star All Stars - First Light

Easy Star All Stars

First Light
Record Label: Easy Star Records
Review published: May 2011
Rating: 8

Contemporary reggae enunciated with a big active sound and a nice variety within the genre. You may remember Easy Star from their highly success Dub Side versions of Sgt Peppers, Dark Side Of The Moon and Ok Computerhead. Here they show off their own compositions with flair, pizzazz, and determination.



Elikeh - Adje! Adje

Elikeh

Adje! Adje
Record Label: Azalea City Records
Review published: May 2011
Rating: 9

Groove heavy and politically active Afro-rock spawned from the unlikely country of Togo. Singer, guitarist, composer and founder of Elikeh, Massama Dogo, was born in Togo, but immigrated to Washington, D.C. in 2000. His D.C. based ensemble fuses indigenous Togolese elements with a contemporary flavor in a powerful and memorable manner including noteworthy guitar work and vivacious horns.



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La Cherga - Revolve

La Cherga

Revolve
Record Label: Asphalt Tango Records
Review published: May 2011
Rating: 9

La Cherga is a group of cross cultural sonic recyclers now based in Australia, but they draw from pan Balkan influences.  Founded by a Croatian punk gone dub DJ, this release binds Macedonian Gypsy brass with haunting flute melodies and hip-hop accents in addition to integrating the substantial deep grooving funk, dub, rock, pop, reggae with multiple vocal styles.



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Lee Negin - Hungry Ghosts

Lee Negin

Hungry Ghosts
Record Label: Passing Phase Records
Review published: May 2011
Rating: 7

Negrin is a world travelling sound sculptor who is also a university professor currently residing in South Korea. After a lengthy musical hiatus, he found time to produce this diverse diorama of dystopian electronics that integrates international artistic input. This disparate experimentation into psychedelic cybertronica also incorporates his love of jazz, funk, ambient, and classical music.



Watcha Clan - Rebel Radio

Watcha Clan

Rebel Radio
Record Label: Piranha Musik
Review published: May 2011
Rating: 9

A multicultural band singing multilingual lyrics who has as much in common with Afropop and Balkan brass as with drum’n bass and hip hop. Their aim is to destroy boundaries everywhere with ‘Rebel Radio.’ This visionary musical eclecticism beams brightest when they connect the European and Middle Eastern worlds.






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