Alibi V.13 No.21 • May 20-26, 2004 

Sonic Reducer

Tangle Eye Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed (Zoë/Rounder)

Operating as a collective under the Tangle Eye moniker, roots remix specialists Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds have created their latest project using the field recordings of legendary musicologist Alan Lomax as its foundation. Samples of a dozen or so a cappella performances recorded by Lomax between 1947 and 1960 get married to musical accompaniment courtesy of guests Corey Harris, George Porter, Jr., Dirk Powell and other contemporary roots musicians. The overall effect is stunning; disembodied voices of singers long dead fleshed out over grooves that are at once respectful of that era and uniquely modern. This one's pretty tasty.

Future Sound of London Amorphous Androgynous: The Otherness (Psychobaby)

What we have here is stoner rock of a different variety than the stuff Kyuss and Masters of Reality define. Future Sound of London might be described as a "new age" duo if not for their proclivity toward deep house grooves and masterful live guitar. Like their previous records, Amorphous ... is built on a concept (member Gaz Cobain's chronic, unexplained illness in this case) that is subsequently beaten to a pulp, then blown in and out of proportion using all sort of electronic gadgetry. Neither for the faint of heart nor those exceedingly prone to post-bong hit paranoia.

An Albatross We Are the Lazer Viking (Ace Fu)

I hate this record on many levels, but based on its intensity, violent rage and Zappa-esque structural complexity, I simply can't stop listening to it. An Albatross are as close to grindcore as a punk is ever likely to get—11 songs pass at the Ritalin pace of just over eight minutes, but there are decipherable blast-furnace riffs and lots of bloody-throat screaming a la Lawnmower Deth. Think the Locust-meet-Carcass-meet-DEVO without all the trappings of noise rock, death metal or new wave. These guys—a sextet!—make the Dwarves seem like U2.