More AltrOck Label Releases — 2011/2012
Born in 2005 from an idea by Marcello Marinone, who organized the first edition of the AltrOck Festival devoted to experimental and «on the borders» music, and, together with Francesco Zago, established the homonym label, whose first release was Yugen’s Labirinto d’acqua. The aim both of the festival and label was to produce, promote and propose in various forms the best of what actual underground musical italian (but not only) scene offered, from experimental to avant-jazz, from RIO’s heritage to contemporary classical and progressive rock.
Of course, for those raised on mainstream music in North America, releases from AltrOck might come as something of a shock. A very pleasant shock, I might add. Like all great underground art, AltrOck consistently gathers together and releases albums from bands and groups from as far and wide geographically as they are eclectic, experimental and avant-garde. On the same disc, you’ll discover influences as disparate as prog, RIO, proto-punk, and neo classical. This is not music for the lazy listener. Every track requires the listener’s full attention. There are no cheap hooks or quick gimmicks in these releases. To the attentive listener, the rewards are as myriad and as varied as the music itself.
Just about anyone familiar with underground, avant-garde music over the last 30 years is bound to be familiar with the name ANT-BEE, aka Billy James, a North Carolina native and Berklee College of Music graduate who first came to prominence in the late 1980s when signed to the notorious Los Angeles record label, Voxx/Bomp.
Rumoured about for quite some time among long-time fans, ANT-BEE’s Electronic Church Muzik is James’ mini-opus, his homage to the late sixties, early seventies psychedelic freak scene.
The Mike Keneally Band performs “My Dilemma” and “Kedgeree” from the new live DVD/CD set “bakin’ @ the potato!” on Exowax Recordings. Directed by Mike Keneally and Dave Foster. The release comes with the full-length concert on DVD in stereo, Dolby Surround and DTS Surround, plus two band commentary tracks; and an 80-minute CD of most songs from the performance. Available from Moosemart.
The Music of Monique Ortiz
review by Mark McCawley
I first discovered the music of Monique Ortiz on Last.fm in 2005, through the music of the late Mark Sandman and his band, Morphine. At once, I was struck by the literary quality of Ortiz’ lyrics. Sandman, whose lyrics had an almost Beat quality to them, or the late Warren Zevon, whose lyrics also shared a dark, satirical, and sardonic literary terrain with those of Ortiz – is very much comparable with that of Jim Morrison, Nick Cave, and Patti Smith. Ortiz unique lyrical abilities, along with her deep, velvety contralto voice – combined with her near hypnotic percussive and sliding instrumental bass style creates a sound that is uniquely and individually her own.