|10 July 2000||City Slang||20160-2|
|01. Yo La Tengo – From A Motel 6 (Steve Fisk remix)
02. Wheat – More Than You Ever New
03. Salaryman – Strongholder
04. Larmouse – Relics And Artefacts
05. Calexico – Chach (Tasha Bundy remix)
06. Lambchop – Up With People (Zero 7 Reprise Mix)
07. To Rococo Rot – Cars (Variant)
08. Tortoise – Madison Area
09. Schneider TM – Switched On Boss Hog
10. Experimental Pop Band
– Softrock Classic (Le Hammond Inferno remix)
11. Reverse Commuter – The Organ That Killed Me
|Compilation album celebrating 10 years of City Slang. Issued in regular plastic case with white tray, also issued with alternate artwork.
Booklet includes detailed sleeve and track notes (see below).
|SONG CREDITS/TRACK NOTES:|
|01. Yo la Tengo – From A Motel 6 (Steve Fisk remix)
Published: Roshashauna Music
© & (p) 1993 Yo La Tengo
Run Time: 5:08
After nearty two decades of uncompromising independence. Yo La Tengo’s recent and acclaimed tenth album. And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. found the New Jersey tno sounding as subtly innovative as ever. Compns«ng of guitarist and singer Ira Kaplan, his wife Georgia Hubley on drums and vocals and bassist James McNew, the band has put out over eight albums, mini albums and ep’s on City Slang. Yet every album has found Yo La Tengo exploring new territory, from blazing sonic wig- outs to a shimmering fragile beauty. Yo La Tengo open this compilation with a version of From A Motel 6 (the original can be found on the classic 1993 album Painful) that has been remixed by Seattle-based producer Steve Fisk and which was previously only available as a hidden track on a US single.
02. Wheat – More Than You Ever Knew
When Wheat released their first European single in August 1998, even the band’s record company knew virtually nothing about the quartet from Taunton, Massachusetts. There was no biography, they didn’t do interviews and their first album Medeiros cast no light either, containing no information other than track listing and a series of cryptic numerals, the significance of which remains a mystery to this day.
Since then, the sketchy picture has been fleshed out a little. The band were formed by college friends Scott Levesque and Brendan Harney in 1995 and shortly after were joined by guitarist Ricky Brennan. Their equiptment was rudimentary (Harney’s kick drum came from a Salvation Army shop), and they weren’t really into playing live. But they did manage to produce a debut album of startlingly lovely lo-fi originality, pitched half-way between early R.E.M. and The Flaming Lips which was a direct reaction to the prevailing rap-metal scene in Taunton.
Despite their self-confessed hatred of the bumper sticker and T-shirt razzmatazz that goes with touring, somewhere down the line they also turned themselves into a fine live act. Theirs is not a polished sound designed for mass consumption.” The Independent said of their last tour “It is a rough-hewn and intimate kind of music thai makes you feel lucky to have found it.” Although such marketing terminology seems oddly inappropriate with Wheat, the tour was to promote Hope And Adams, their second album released on City Slang last October.
The album figured prominently on many ‘best of the year lists and was a rich harvest of alternative songwriting that was delicate, expressive, poignant, vulnerable and intuitively honest and somehow synthesised rather than plagiarised their diverse influences. More Than You Ever New is a reworking of the title More Than You’ll Ever Know on Hope & Adams. The original being a harsh yet beautiful wall-of-sound noise-test, this version will make you dance.
03 .Salaryman – Strongholder
In their trademark white shirts and ties, Salaryman may look innocuous and even geeky. But over the short space of two albums, they’ve created a radically subversive body of work in which Detroit techno-funk, big beat electronica and sweaty rock’n’roll are combined in a unique fashion. After 10 years as indie rocker The Poster Children, the Illinois quartet had become frustrated by the constraints of guitar rock and embarked on a sonic journey with banks of keyboards, samples and electronic drums. Singer Rick Valentin switched to programmes, Jim Valentin and bassist Rose Marshack both switched to keyboards, although drummer Hosvie Kantutf continues to keep the beat re-deployed. Their 1997 self-titled debut on City Slang was startling. Last year’s fullow-up, Karoshi, was revelatory The song on Grand Slang is taken from the latter.
04. Larmousse – Relics And Artefacts
Glasgow’s Larmousse are only just releasing their first single, the aptly titled A Universal Hello But they come with high expectations, having already been tipped by The Times as a band to watch on the strength of their first demo The Times wasn’t alone in being impressed – the same tape also led to them being signed by City Slang.
Formed in 1997 by Cliff Hendersnn and Scott Wallace in a garage on the Ciimbemduld estate where Gregory’s GiM was filmed. Larmousse’s main protagonists can claim no formal musical training Yet they had a soundtrack in their heads which they began downloading in their tiny rehearsal space Because they didn’t know the rules, they couldn’t obey them and as they were unaware of the conventions they had no idea they were breaking them Tha result was an astonishing 60 minute demo of eight songs brimming with imagination and originality, including a 16 minute epic with feedback to shred your speakers.
Listening to Larmousse, it’s been said, is like watching fireworks fall from the sky – the explosion might be at the heart of the drama, but the tumbling, tailing sparks are where the beauty and mystery lies. Their lyrics are hill of condensed, evocative images chat are as individual as the music. Their hrst City Slang release, a 12″ entitled A Universal Hello was recorded over several weekends in Glasgow and mixed by Guy Fixsen, chosen for his work on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless Opening with a drum loop that sounds as if it was recorded in some far distant land, the song grows at its own pace, slowly fleshing out its structure until it explodes violently and ecstatically and its shards and remnants fall back to earth trailing clouds of glory Relics And Artefacts sterns from the same sessions. Larmousse have taken their time but their impact promises to be lasting.
05. Calexico – Chach (Tasha Bundy remix)
Take a little country, a flavour of Mexican manachi and the ambience of a Morricone soundtrack. Call up the rhythm section from noted desert rockers Giant Sand and drop them in a frontier town on the border of California and Mexico. The result is an entirely new experience in atmospheric mood music Giant Sands John Convertino and Joey Burns are versatile musical adventurer’s who have recorded with the likes of Vic Chesnutt and Victoria Williams, but it’s as Calexico that they seem destined to make their must indelible mark on American music. Their first album, Spoke, appeared on the German label Hausmusik, but it was when The Black Light was released on City Slang in 1998 that the world first realised that Calexico’s musical vision was something not merely out of the ordinary but unique.
At a stroke, The Black Light redefined the parameters of alt country. Instead of the Uncle Tupelo axis of bands with their roots in the Appalachian tradition, Calexico looked southwest to create a complementary strand of adobe country. And in the traditions of the best western movies, it was also an album that told a story – the tale of a young man in a dead-end hotel job in Tucson who wanders into the desert, takes a “bag of death”, meets a travelling circus show and falls in love. The broad, cinematic sweep suggested a soundtrack waiting fur the movie to be made and it comes as no surprise that several of Calexico’s songs are featured in the forthcoming film Committed, directed by Lisa Kruger.
Their new album, Hot Rail, due for release in May, is even more expansive, once again deploying the rich collection of instruments assembled by Convertino and Burns – vibraphone, glockenspiel, lap steel, mariachi trumpets, mandolin and accordion.
Chach, which is included on Grand Slang, is a title that’s been heavily reworked by Tasha Bundy, John Convertino’s wife, and was previously only included on the vinyl only ep, Descamino.
06. Lambchop – Up With People (Zero7 Reprise Mix)
They hardly ever tour, they number an unweldy 14 members, and main man Kurt Wagner won’t grve up his day job laying hardwood floors. Yet there are those who will tell you that Lambchop are simply the finest band to come out of America since Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five. And listening to the extraordinary hybrid of country, soul, pop and psychedelia that is Nixon, their most recent album, its hard to disagree.
Wagner grew up in Nashville before moving to Memphis when he was 17 and the path between the two music capitals broadly tracks his own artistic development On his return to Nashville, he began putting together the loose collective that was to become Lambchop (initially known as Poster Child) ard recorded a handful of singles for local indie labels.
Thriller followed a year later, and fouid Wagner’s expansive vision stretching into even more intriguing shapes on his single-handed mission to take different forms of Amirican traditional musoc and fashion from them something new, vibrant and unclassifiable.
An already legendary and rare European tour with Vic Chesnutt accompanied the release of 1998’s What Another Man Spills, a gloriously skewed left-field album of mutant brilliance. Covers of soul classics by Curtis Mayfield and Frederick Knight pointed the way forward to Nixon, where southern soul and new country combine to create, as Uncut eloquently put it, the sound of the familiar made strange. In short, Lambchop are making some of the most mesmerisingly beautiful music you will ever hear. Hotly tipped London producers / DJs Zero7 have taken the Chop’s, anthemic Up With People and transformed it into a whole different soundscape. Found here is the instrumental version of this remix, only available on the limited edition 12″ version of the Up With People single.
07. To Rococo Rot – Cars (Variant)
At the forefront of the new wave of German electronica. To Rococo Rot took their name (a palindrome which reads the same forward as backwards) from an exhibition in Berlin in winch Ronald Lippok had done the paintings and his brother Robert Lippnk had created some sound sculpture installations. The gallery owner suggested that instead of publishing a conventional catalogue to the exhibition, they should record an experimental soundtrack.
Joined by Stefan Schneider from Dusseldorf on bass, a two day session yielded a vinyl picture disc. The intention had never been to become a permanent band. but many fell that the disc was the best thing about the exhibition. With the addition of further material, the music formed the core of CD, their first album proper of electronic beats, dub like pulses and ambient cool, released on Berlin’s Kitty-Vo label. Although all three had trained as visual artists, it was no surprise that music became their main preoccupation. Growing up in East Berlin before the Wall came down, the Lippok’s main window on the wider worid was listening to John Peel’s show on the BBC World Service and driving to Hungary to buy records that were banned in East Germany.
After that happily-accidental first album, their second, Veiculo appeared on City Slang in 1997 and presented am austerely minimalist soundscape of pristine beats and looped grooves. Year’s acclaimed The Amateur View was more embellished intricately-observed music, full of tiny detail, sparse and yet deceptively complex, subtlely combing icy mechanical precision with an approachable human warmth. Away from thei studio computers with digital loops, To Rococo Rot have also developed into an impressively adventurous live act featuring Ronald (who also plays in Tarwater) on drums. Robert on samples and Stefan Schneider’s compellingly inventive bass lines. Cars (Vanant) is a remix of the same song which was one of the stellar high-lights on The Amateur View
08. Tortoise – Madison Area
When Tortoise first emerged from Chicago with their sell-titled debut album in 1994. critics were at such a loss as to how to describe their extraordinary mix of dub. electronica. iw and ambient stylings that someone invented a new name for it: “post-rock.” A collective rather than a conventional group (its members all have other bands or musical projects). Tortoise’s three albums (plus the remix collection Rhythms, Resolutions and Clusters), have all defied categorisation. Yet they all share an interest in non-linear textures and dynamics rather than tired rock formats Their most recent effort, TNT was their most diverse and ambitious to date, stretching the post-rock tag to new frontiers Post-post rock. perhaps …
09. Schneider TM – Switched On Boss Hog
DIRK DRESSELHAUS. AKA Schneider TM, is the latest in a long line of electronic artists from Germany But don’t call his music Krautrock “I don’t like that expression It sounds like a lot of bad German bands, like Britpop.’ he says. Best not call his music techno or electronica either. ‘I would use words like experimental pop or electronic vs. rock Or even noise Yes, let’s call it noise’
Dresselhaus is a self-confessed noise obsessive, finding endless sonic fascination in everything from rain on a window pane to the squeak of a bedspring or the screech of a malfunctioning sound system. That, he explains, is what comes from sitting up until dawn with only a bottle of cheap champagne and a home recording studio for company.
Born in Bielefeld, Dresselhaus’s first musical influence was The Velvet Underground. He played guitar in various bands but found he was as interested in the weird and wonderful effects he could coax out of the FX pedals as from the notes his fingers formed on the fret board. He has a close musical affinity with the bleeps and bloops of Mouse On Mars but he takes in ratties and hums as well. not to mention snap, crackle and the occasional foray into warped pop.
His first self-tiled album came out in April 1998, around the same time as the Bongie Nights film and if he’s fed up with being described as krautrock he’s even sicker to death of jokes about his name sounding like a Seventies porn star (Dirk not Schneider. that is). Yet you could imagine him writing the ultimate louche soundtrack for an alien sex film. The fuzzy edginess of his album recalls the more experimental work of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, but on tracks such as Starfuck there are also bursts of My Bloody Valentine and other identifiable reference points that are defiantly rock’n’roll. He’s just completed a cover version of the Smiths classic There’s A Light That Never Goes Out, but here he is represented by digitatising Boss Hog’s latest masterpiece Get It While You Wait into something broodingly electronic, minimal, and eventually, original.
10. Experimental Pop Band – Softrock Classic (Le Hammond Inferno remix)
Bristol’s Experimental Pop Band have the kind of name that leaves you in no doubt what they are about. Yet that hasn’t prevented clever people from trying to come up with more clever descriptions- “Krautnnic lo-li strum n’bass bohemian art-pop” or “rock soul-psychadelic-hip-hop-boho-pop-stew” being just two of the more concise attempts. Yet when you think about it. Experimental Pop Band still says it all better. As Time Out put it, “the name is horrible until you hear the sound” Then it all makes sense as a post-modern description of their constantly shifting musical personality.
The EPB was formed by singer/guitarist/writer/group leader Davey Woodward in 1995 as a studio-based project with Chris Galvin with whom he had played in the indie guitar quartet The Brilliant Coners. Woodward had also run several semi- legendary easy listening, psychedelia and hip hop club nights in Bristol, all of which were to provide musical grist to the EPB’s eclectic mill. A series of EPs was followed by Discgrotesque an album of warped lounge-core, released independently. A remodelled line-up which saw Woodwardf and Galvin joined by Keith Bailey (drums) and Joe Rooney (keyboards) signed to City Slang and the first fruit was the splendidly generous and homegrown sounds of Homesick It’s a record of wry wit. bitter sweet humour and submerged emotion that contained within it a shattering personal tragedy. While they were making it Chris Galvin was terminall ill with cancer and he died early last year, some months before the album’s release in July 1999. of course, the rest of the band dedicated the album to him and decided that he would have wanted the the EPB to continue. They recruited Mark Barber to replace Galvin on bass and their next album X has just been recorded with John Parish and is awaiting release later in the year. Softrock Classic is a hilarious remix by Berlin’s best left-handed DJ-duo Le Hammond Inferno of EPB’s hit-single Punk Rock Classic
11. Reverse Commuter – The Organ That Killed Me
Reverse Commuter is one of the many alasses Ken Gibson like to operate under He has in the past delivered icy dubscapes under the name Eight Frozen Modules and can currently be found DJ-ing around the greater LA area or at home working on new developments in electronica and dub. Gibson travels far beyond the narrowly defined spectrum of most dance and electronic music in that no two songs sound alike and they don’t become confined by their own rhythms – the artist is seldom content to let one groove fly for too long before mashing it into an inconsistent pulp. Found here is a work in progress that pairs very human pop-sensitivities with very inhuman sounds and beats over a crafty dub foundation.
|SLEEVE NOTES / INFORMATION:|
|“Okay, it’s a festive season for us. We are turning ten, we are quite proud of it and we are celebrating with big shows in London and Berlin. But we also wanted to have a little something to commemorate the event, so we put this little compilation together. It showcases some of our bands in an unlikely context (through remixes) and it makes stuff available that has been hard to find for a while and/or is out of print. But it also shows what is going on, right here and now. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we did compiling it. Yes, we are still here, even after ten years, and really, all we can say is Thank YOU!!
Thank you for buying the records we put out over the last decade. Thanks to ALL THE BANDS we were lucky enough to be involved with and thanks to ALL THE LABELS that have worked with us from 1990 to 2000. We hope we will still be around for the 20th anniversary….
But, instead of an endless list of names that would bore everyone to death, please let me take this opportunity to thank the people who have made it their duty, their destiny and their job to bring to you these records that we out out.
Maybe when you listen to your next Calexico or To Rococo Rot or any other City Slang album, you should fondly think of Gundula Schneider, Keith Nealy, Tom Reiss, Severin Most. Dana Mobis, Nicola Oornhege, Nathan Beazer and Wyndham Wallace. Because they are it! And you have no idea what they have to put up with to get these CDs and LPs out to you every day. Then there is Tina van der Straaten, Martina Kropf, Anne Ellinghaus and Robert Klamann. They were it! Lastly there are Gudrun, Victor and Olga Ellinghaus, they will ALWAYS be it.This record is for them, and it is for Klaus Unkelbach (RIP) who would not have let this pathetic piece of text slip out.
[The booklet also includes City Slang discography]
COVER: “City Slang 1990 – 2000
DISC: “City Slang 1990 – 2000
REAR: “www.cityslang.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTWORK: [no details]