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 V.18 No.28 | July 9 - 15, 2009 

Sonic Reducer

Spoon "Got Nuffin" (Merge Records)

Yowza, the title track of this grammatically wrong three-song EP is solid, Spoony goodness. Atmospherically post-punk and laden with buzzy guitars, this gloomy song is, in my opinion, superior to every track on the band’s last full-length, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. I can't really say the same for song two, "Tweakers," which is some fuzzed-out, lyric-less electronic business. The final track, "Stroke Their Brains," adopts a scary, garage-psych sound. Equally as cool as numero uno. My recommendation: Ditch "Tweakers" and keep the rest. (JCC)

Moby Wait for Me (Mute)

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The king of sad, droning electronica still has the goods. Moby doesn't work in song-parts. He prefers for each track to convey a specific feeling or mood. Orchestral crashing waves, choral singing and synth notes held for an impossibly long time churn inside your stomach. Moby has always struggled to create records that are consistently powerful, and that holds true for Wait for Me. One song hits all the epic crescendos perfectly and another drifts into the background without engendering much passion. But even in its less shimmering moments, this record has soul. That's something a great deal of electronic music lacks and something Moby has in spades. (SM)

Ron Strauss Tangos de Santa Fe / Matapolvos (RSM)

Two extended chamber works by Santa Fe composer Ron Strauss, ably performed here by Serenata of Santa Fe, reveal a subtle but muscular musical mind with a keen ear for sonic possibilities. Accessible, melodic and expressive, the five tangos for flute, English horn and guitar capture delicate, haunting musical portraits. Particularly rewarding is the architecturally beguiling “Tango a la Puesta del Sol.” In “Matapolvos”—for voice, English horn, viola and cello, with text from Eduardo Galeano’s blazing historical trilogy Memory of Fire—Strauss captures the irony, humor and horror of Galeano’s narratives, and the listener’s complete attention. (MM)

(SM) Simon McCormack, (JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr, (MM) Mel Minter


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