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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Jackie-O Motherfucker
Road Cone

Jackie-O Motherfucked-up is more like it — the good kind of fucked-up. That free, liberated fucked-up-ness. People like feeling fucked-up because the weirdness makes them feel cool. Remember, weird is good, weird is cool, weird is breaking away from the boring, conformist norms. And since people tend to define themselves by the music they listen to, those who check out Jackie-O's one-of-a-kind tunes should feel downright loopy, in that good, fucked-up kind of way. (Gee, using the f-word can be so much fun in a weird, cool kind of way).

Jackie-O's new, mostly instrumental album, Liberation, sounds like 12 jazz-inspired Portland, Ore., folks getting together in the same room, finding a common, simple rhythm line and — with a variety of string, horn and electronic instruments in hand — building off it, dragging it out for, oh, sometimes 17 or more minutes. At the core of each song is the raw rhythm line playing repetitively like a broken record, and then, to the left, comes some instrumental accessory to break up the droning redundancy. And then — just when you feel like you've been sucked into a black hole, subjected to the same spin again and again — electronic, spacey effects, hollow bass drums or the lovely high sounds of the violin enter the mix to pull you through.

Without such improv-style contributions, their music would be, well, excruciatingly boring. But they push you to the edge, it seems. Just when you think you can't handle any more of the "broken record," you're delightfully surprised and relieved by the introduction of a new instrument, rhythm and melody. Still, the core's simplistic drone plays on — you'll just forget it's there. Take the 13-plus minute-long "Ray-O-Graph" for instance; its pulsating drumbeat and reverberating guitar line introduce a particular rhythm line (one that stays central throughout) that's dressed up with a screaming sax there, a whining harmonica here and a little cello over there.

Like taking a drive with no interest in where you're headed, the group's approach to songwriting feels very free and creative — the kind of music-making only risk-takers feel comfortable with. The only exception to my theory regarding Jackie-O's songwriting approach is "Something on Your Mind," which is far more traditional, with catchy pop-like melodies and singing throughout.

Overall, Liberation strays from adhering to any real order or logic. Instead, the album experiments with the dissonant and often oddball consequences of multiple improvisations, as if the conductor left the platform and all the bandmembers were left to play without direction. And the result is truly fucked-up (that word again!) — in a good way.

by Jenny Tatone

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