and Electronic Brains
Issue 11 zine + "10P 1 Play" CD
Genres: electronica, experimental, pop
133 Green End Rd.
CB4 1RW, UK
May 19 - 25 2003
What we have here is an arcade-themed music zine that comes with a
neat-o five-label compilation CD featuring artists on the Catchpenny,
Eeriephone, Elsie & Jack, Beatsforsale, and Static Caravan
labels. Naturally, some parts of the CD are more accessible than
others, but all around it's a very fun disc.
First, the zine. Robots and Electronic Brains is a very
spiffy publication, and this issue is no different. There are
well-written reviews of bands you've probably heard of (The Boggs,
Eltro, Blackalicious, Boom Bip and Dose One, as well as
those you probably haven't (Scramble, Moon, Foxgloves).
There are informative and fun-to-read interviews with Bouvier, The
Visit, Mrs. Cakehead, and ex-Wire member Colin
Newman's swim~ label (which is also co-run by Malka Spigel.)
Perhaps the biggest treat is an excerpt from the endlessly
entertaining tour diary by Winterbrief (available in full at www.winterbrief.com).
The CD, meanwhile, is also a hit. Starting off with three
beat-ridden tracks by Beatsforsale DJ Unoriginal Mike D (two of
which are collaborations with Esau), we're already in
high-gear. Things are only furthered by the Catchpenny roster; Y
Camerau Cyflymder contributes catchy indie pop from their debut
single, The Duckworth Lewis Method donates acid techno, and Wolf
in the Fridge, DJ Komikon, and Y Crwydryn each offer up
short electronic pieces. The Eeriephone section of the comp
boasts a short instrumental by the "Eeriephone House Band",
followed by four catchy electro-pop anthems by The Duds, the
best of which is a funky work of genius called "The Myriad
Contortions of Volande Mahwengwe."
After this comes six tracks by artists on the Elsie & Jack
label, who are perhaps best known for releasing Aube's classic Pages
From a Book album awhile back. FM Synthesis (aka Alex
Robinson) kicks it off with a very short jazz sample, but
things really get going with September Plateau's "Thinking
of Storms," a stunningly moody guitar instrumental. This
mood is carried over to Pefkin's "Autumn and Glow
Lamps," a beautifully minimal-yet-grand pop number, and Tabata's
"The Fall of Kyoto" follows as a creepy, experimental sound
sculpture. The Elsie & Jack portion of the CD finishes off
with Lighthill Vision's noisy electronics and "Carn Menyn,"
an ambient drone track by Stylus.
Static Caravan occupies the last fifth of this disc with a nice
dose of pop and electronics. The New Tellers give us a
very British, forty second pop tune to begin Static Caravan's
spotlight, which is then made even better with Magnetophone's
"I Hear Blond Falcons (Edit)", a track from the sessions of
their sold out Relax It's the End of Electronica single - it's
a moody slab of electro characterized by jabbing, abrasive
beats. Hard Sleeper then takes a decidedly more relaxing
approach with his plugged-in electro-lounge piece, "Rightleft," and The
Vector Lovers continue the mood with a warm track of dazzling
techno called "Neon Sky Rain." Things finish off with Tomcats
In Tokyo's "Tubular Friends," an IDM-injected slice of
masterful techno that recalls a more spaced-out version of videogame
All around, this is a delicious zine and compilation CD
bundle. If you've got a bit of cash to spare, plop it in an
envelope and mail it out to get your very own copy of Robots and
Electronic Brains. Yum yum!
40 pp; 29 songs, distributed by the
zine, published 2003]