Wednesday, March 07, 2007

REVIEW: Audionom- Retrospektiv CD

I recently got my paws on a few of the recent releases on New York based label Kemado, who were originally known to me as the label started by the fellas that put on those Shout! parties on Sunday nights at Bar 13 just below Union Square. Quite fun, though you needed to have a predisposition for all things rock (written in all caps, ROCK!) to tolerate them. I must say, those DJs were quite good selectors, and they put enough T Rex and Bowie into the mix that by the time "Communication Breakdown" blasted over the speakers, even I was well-prepped and excited to hear it. Kemado made a nice name for themselves with the likes of Elefant, one of those NY bands that garnished a good amount of press when all eyes were set on NY in post-Strokes fervor. I was more partial to the Fever and their angular, new-wave-by-way-of-Robert Quine approach. In the past years, Kemado have grown into a nice enterprise. They seem to be doing well for themselves as record companies go; their bands are written about in all the right places, and most importantly, the lion's share of their releases are pretty damn good.

All that is ultimately a different story-- it was this release, a reissue of Audionom's "Retrospektiv" that inspired me to say some nice words about them today. A reissue of this erstwhile defunct band's late 90's to early 00's output originally on Sweden's Ideal Recordings, Audionom manages to unleash a monstrous sound. I imagine the audience that traffics this particular blog (so far) is mostly looking for some jagged post-punk sounds, and while there's hypnotic Neu!-ish beats aplenty, and enough psyched out oscillators to make Hawkwind proud, they dexterously mix that with taut rhythms a la Wire. In fact, the frantic guitar-work is something that wouldn't be out of place on an early Joy Division/ Warsaw track. The songs are meticulously structured around simple, terse themes rather than choruses or verses, and each exudes an addictive nervous energy that gives the impression the band is on the verge of falling out of synch, even though the musicianship is flawless.

The label offers this track as a teaser, one of the more subdued on the album, but it gives you a decent idea of what they are capable of: Audionom- Kein Bock

Word is they're now back together. So much the better for us.

Kemado Records
Audionom on myspace


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