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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
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+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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The Psychic Paramount
Live 2002 The Franco-Italian Tour
Bewilderment And Illumination

For this incarnation of the Psychic Paramount, NYC guitarist and composer Drew St. Ivany has assembled an instrumental power trio, with his musical support provided by fellow ex-Laddio Bolocko member Ben Armstrong on bass and Tatsuya Nakatani on drums. The result is as fierce an underground-rock artifact as you could wish for, with primitive recordings of the band on tour in Europe edited down to form monolithic slabs of freestyle psychedelic rock.

The introductory fragment, recorded in Lyon, combines low-level guitar rumbling with phased fluttering sounds. It's an abstract teaser for what is to come as track two, "Paris Part One," fades in with some frenzied, freeform guitar soloing, a thunderously loud rhythm section and low-end frequencies disappearing under an avalanche of fuzzy distortion. "Paris Part Two" is all cavernous reverb, with waves of distortion in the background, like trance-techno interpreted by some monstrous blues-rock band. What it lacks in hypnotic seduction it more than compensates for in bludgeoning force. The following combination of two live extracts recorded in Napoli and Perpignan is a less forceful mixture of oceanic abstraction and pulsating minimalism, only really hinting at a greater intensity towards the finish.

In a second track recorded in Perpignan the band really hits the accelerator, blasting off with some wild avant-rock that recalls The Stooges' "LA Blues" — an extended cacophony of untethered noise accompanied by bluntly hammered percussion. Then the bass and drums kick into a powerhouse rhythm, sounding like a super-distorted version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The music's momentum seems unstoppable, a rolling juggernaut of squally guitar and bass distortion accompanied by the maelstrom of Nakatani's drumming. There's a swift detour as the music shifts to an oscillating pulse that struggles to free itself from the background morass of fuzz before the drums come thundering back in for the finish. The final track, "Ex-Visitations," follows the fusion/blues style of its predecessor, but has less of a distorted edge, and gives plenty of space for more astonishing drumming before it shifts down a gear toward a less violent climax.

The rawness of these recordings, aided by some judicious editing, works in their favor, transforming what might otherwise be fairly unremarkable pieces of music into vertiginous demonstrations of raw power.

by Tom Ridge

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