60 Watt Shaman/Spirit Caravan, "Darkness and Longing."   60 Watt Shaman and Spirit Caravan come oozing out of a nasty clogged drain pipe to bring us their version of doom and gloom like the masters themselves, Black Sabbath. They are not exactly like Sabbath, but not unlike them, either; just another arterial connection that feeds into their forefathers' black highway to cranial torment. Spirit Caravan bring us the vita-mix of Sabbath and Soundgarden and 60 Watt Shaman have that nasty Black Sabbath sound and feel. Available on MIA/Teepee Records.   -Steve Weatherholt.

Abuse, "Bolted."   This jabaero- and demonsbrew-fueled crunchy brutal death avalanche of voodoo evil is very reminiscent of Necrophagia or a more brutal, faster Crowbar. Perhaps it would be on par with a pumped-up Pantera playing heavier death with an understandable death metal vocalist. This is the kind of music Richard Ramirez would thoroughly endorse. Available on Repulse Records.   -Sabrina Wade-Haines

[ abuse - bolted ]

The Burnouts, "No Erection, No Love" (7" single).   This little slab is from one of the bands trying to save Denmark's rock 'n' roll tradition. Uh, what Danish tradition? Well, these guys are trying to continue in the vast swamp of that Scandinavian Rock sound. The Burnouts have a cool jangly guitar sound topped off with flammable external energy. See the EP album reviews for their new full length. I hope they don't Burn out! Available on Bad Afro Records.   -Steve Weatherholt.

Christdriver, demo CD.   Christdriver have come out with a three-song demo with the hopes of trying to gather some label interest. This demo is more doom-laden industrial sludge from the purveyors of black. Christdriver pack a hell of a punch that can't be matched by anybody in Seattle, and would make Roger Waters proud with their cover of "Comfortably Numb," where they put some sewer sludge in all the right places. Produced and recorded by Eschaton Music.   -Steve Weatherholt.

[Click here to read Steve's exclusive interview with Christdriver.]

Christdriver - "Consumer" mp3

Electron Love Theory, "Power of the People" (mp3).   Electron Love Theory is Jeff Leisawitz, a one-man music machine mixing electronic beats against live bass lines. "The Power of the People" is a swirl of loops and bass lines (along with the occasional odd modem signal) set against recorded soundbites taken from interviews with protestors who were on the front lines of the WTO debacle that took place in Seattle last November. [Click here to read more about the WTO protests.] Giving further voice to the voiceless, this mp3 sets to music some of the rights and wrongs that took place during those protests. From the opening hail of "ain't no power like the power of the people, 'cause the power of the people don't stop," the song pastes together the voices of interviewees describing the fears and frustrations of being teargassed (with one protestor describing witnessing a police officer hold a gun to someone's head), the disbelief in watching the police and city officials strong-arm (and ultimately break) their fundamental right to voice disagreement, and the hope, awe and courage of seeing how positive, direct action can make a difference on a large scale. Near the end of the track, sounds from the actual protests and accompanying riots are spliced in: teargas and concussion grenades exploding, people yelling and running frantically, the mesh of mostly indecipherable background noise; it all lends to the general paranoia already in the air. The music Leisawitz lays down to back the voices is a slinky groove, but nothing flash or ear-catching. It's what he's done with the protest samples that make this track outstanding, and something for which he should receive kudos. "Power of the People" further bears witness against what took place that week and pushes to keep the spirit of what those tens of thousands of protestors fought for alive and in the public eye.   -Craig Young.
[ electron love theory - power of the people ]

Electron Love Theory - "Power of the People" mp3

Leadfoot, "Redline" / "Reapin."   "Redline" and "Reapin" are pure Southern-fried, '70s stoner-fueled doom metal. You would expect little else from a band containing former members of Corrosion of Conformity. These two jamming samples rock doomy and wax Southern-fried mentally. These samples are from the available self-titled album. I haven't heard the whole disc, but these songs make me want to dive right in. This rocks harder than some of the latter-era COC songs. Besides, I've always been accused of having a Leadfoot.   -Sabrina Wade-Haines.

Limp Bizkit (featuring Methodman), "N 2 Gether Now."   Quiz, hot shot: what do you get when you put Limp Bizkit, Method Man, and DJ Premier together on the same track? A hit, stupid! "N 2 Gether Now" is packing dance floors like money falling from a disco ball. This much ass-shaking hasn't been seen since MTV's Spring Break '99.

Fred Durst may have the whole b-boy essence down pat in the video for this single, but he gets a D+ for his lyrical content. The only thing that keeps him from getting the big E is his enthusiasm and effort. Meth on the other hand delivers like he's recently been reborn. No doubt he realized the importance of not coming off whack on a primo track, and instead delivers a Source Magazine Hip-Hop quotable type effort.

Built around an underwater-sounding harp-n-snare foreground and nicely filled in by a murky bass line, this track is a best of both worlds, star-studded crowd pleaser. It's so infectious your ass will be wigglin' out of control like a bear with an itch rubbin' up against a tree. Let's just hope for you Limp Bizkit fans out there, they can continue their magic in the year 2000. Available on Interscope Records.   -Cecil Beatty-Yasutake.

[ limp bizkit (featuring medthod man) - n 2 gether now ]

Hydrant Records plants some seedlings with their CDR offshoot Sprout, and harvests a trio of EPs that further promulgate the Hydrant/Sprout sound. The Brittle Ones deliver four tracks of dappled beats and bubbling melodies very reminiscent of Boards of Canada or Solvent, making for a pleasant aural encounter. Great short album to slap in when you've only got a few minutes. Sprout's second EP by Baretta is not as quirkily crafted, the analog pieces more in evidence. I kept thinking that I was underground in Boston, waiting for a subway, and this fellow was in the corner by the tiled walls with a couple of keyboards and a drum machine, popping and snapping a soundtrack called "Waiting for the Trains." You can almost see everyone grooving and swaying as the songs echo up and down the tracks.

Germany label Noton presented an experimental series of releases last year to coincide with the arrival of the 21st century. Called 20' to 2000, these discs were released once a month for the calendar year and each presented a different experimental/minimalist approach to the question of what the cutting edge of music is at the end of the 20th Century. If you haven't already committed yourself to all twelve, eP would like to present you with a quick reference chart to help you decide which singles need to be in your collection.

January Komet Slowly squelchy.
February Ipo Vaisanen Staticy squelchy.
March Ryoi Ikeda "99 tracks of sine waves on the wall...take one down..."
April coH Gentle drones.
May Beytone Drop tones and their echoes.
June Senking Gloriously aquatic beat ambience.
July Thomas Brinkmann Classic Brinkmann. Repetitive minimal techno beats.
August Scanner Vocal-tinged ambience.
September Noto Minimal glitches and pops.
October Mika Vainio Rhythmic static and noise (watch those first two minutes!).
November Wolfgang Voigt Two versions of Kln-style ambience: with beats and without.
December elph Spooky ambient soundscape as only Coil can provide.

eP favorites were June, July, August, and December, though every month was an interesting perspective on the future of electronic music. These are limited so snap them up while you can.

Speaking of Brinkmann and Scanner, the two collaborated on a split 12" from Force Inc. Two tracks named "Adria" and "Blind," they explored the mixture of traditional elements from both artists. Thomas Brinkmann has an incredible ability to take a repetitive four-on-the-floor techno beat and gradually alter it over the course of a record so that the final beat structure is totally different than the beginning and you can't remember the changes happening. "Adria" is fleshed out with vocal samples from an intercepted military aircraft transmission and "Blind" begins with the distant echo of that same aircraft as it roars off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, then subsumes that growling thunder beneath Scanner's take on the Brinkmann structure. Two great tracks that are hopefully just a teaser of more collaboration to come.   -Mark Teppo.

[ sprout - the brittle ones ]

Brittle Ones - "Crescent" mp3 64kbs/32sec/258kb

Pitchshifter, "Un-UK" (7" blue vinyl).   This is the much anticipated (at least for me) release from the miracle workers of drums, bass and heavy guitar mayhem. With this release we see them having some fun with more organically-driven rock 'n' roll, akin to a clean Sex Pistols. Utilizing the guitar skills of one Sir Jim Davies, who is now a fulltime member of the band, PSI have toned down the drums and bass, and this is not as electronically driven as their last album, www.pitchshifter.com, which was a bullet train about ready to derail and flatten your skull. Available on MCA Records.   -Steve Weatherholt.

[Click here to read Earpollution's exclusive interview with Pitchshifter.]

President Fetch, "Super Heroine Blonde" (7").    Denmark's President Fetch have been around since 1987. With two releases under their belt, they have toned down the punk/hardcore. In its place they have filled the holes with a fuller, more mature and polished punk rock sound that's clean and very energetic driving punk. These guys may not have many releases, but they are all very accomplished musicians. Check out Gearbox for more President Fetch info. -Steve Weatherholt.

[ pitchshifter - un-uk ]

Pitchshifter - "Un-UK" mp3 64kbs/35sec/283kb

Rakim, "When I B On Tha Mic" b/w "Flow Forever."   Two words could sum up this single: Chemistry and Greatness. DJ extrodinaire, and producer elite DJ Premier teams up with hip-hop's master wordsmith Rakim to bring you one of the dopest singles of the year, and maybe even the decade: "When I B On Tha Mic."

The thing that separates Premier from rap music-producing peers is his turntable wizardry that when combined with his considerable production talent is breathtaking, mesmerizing, and pure hip-hop. A simple fluttering movement of the wrist starts what for the next three minutes and some odd seconds is serious head-noddin' musical pleasure. Speaking of which, where did I put that chiropractor directory anyway?

A swing beat bass line keeps you in time as Primo layers his musical cake with some chopped-up xylophone loops and perfectly timed scratch work. Turntable-manufactured vocal snippets like "hardcore," "real ill," and "I'm internationally known" dominate the chorus setting the perfect tone for the hip-hop's finest poet to bless the track. His delivery is perfect, vocals fluid, and his rhymes--to borrow a phrase from the fellas at ESPN--are "restaurant quality." (And in this case, I'm referring to the restaurants that don't print the prices on the menu.) Rakim delivers yet another lyrical stepping stone on the seldom-traveled path of greatness. Available on Universal Records.   -Cecil Beatty-Yasutake.

[ president fetch - super heroine blonde ]

The Turpentines, "Showstoppers."   The Turpentines are keeping the Swedish punk 'n' roll alive with a new disc on Bad Afro Records. This band keeps bringing the house down with their volatile blender mix of the Hellacopters and the almighty Gluecifer. The Turpentines pound you with their catchy buzzsaw guitar hooks, bringing back that good ole '70s Detroit/New York City street sound. Available on Bad Afro Records.   -Steve Weatherholt.

Various Artists, "New York Rocks," Carbon 14 Fanzine Issue #15.   This little dittie comes in Issue #15 of the Carbon 14 fanzine. Bring us back errr, some of this is new live material to the lost days of '70s New York rock 'n' roll. Included here are cuts by some of the biggies: The Dictators, The Toilet Boys, Jayne (Wayne) County (where are the Electric Chairs?), and The Master Plan. If you had missed out on a pivotal slice of great music, you were either too young, at the wrong parties, or gearing up for the Reagan festivities to come.   -Steve Weatherholt.

[ rakim - when i b on the mic ]

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