Bill Holt — Dreamies Program 12
(Wilmington Studios WS-10003, 2006, CD)
by K. Leimer, Published 2008-01-01Among many, an early and great of music in opposition to the recent caterwauling of our current government is alms by re: There’s also Joy Division’s broader and more concise “Atrocity Exhibition.” Somewhere between the electronic abstraction of re: and the song form tradition of Joy Division, Bill Holt has assembled a wry, shock-‘n‘-aw-shucks look at the enduring horribleness of our culture exacting countless pounds of flesh from those designated as the Other, on down through time. In this case, the uniquely American contributions to the Book of Atrocity, from Custer to the magical-thinking Mr. Bush and points in between. Holt knows that when it comes to communicating ideas as abstract as those under review here minor scales and great slurring throbs might not be articulate enough to make the point since the same sounds, cleverly titled, could simply refer to good old girl trouble. Consequently music plays the supporting role here – “Home on the Range” providing a comfy bed for the narrative of Little Big Horn, for example – and never rises to the bait of flashing anger or indignation. Instead, the gently disorienting juxtapositions of sounds with spoken and sung words – drawn from broadcast archives, news and film – let the story of ill-learned behavior and self-service play out each in their own self-confounding, intrinsically contradicting and reality bending way while nudging the listener along to the proper conclusions. Uniformly smart stuff, smartly done.
Related artist(s): Bill Holt
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more