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Below Code:Comatonse

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Label: Comatonse

Produced By: Various, exec. Produced by Terre Thaemlitz

Download Link: From The Comatonse Website

Tracklisting:

  1. Unknown - 10 Years Of Amazing Demo Tapes
  2. Riverside 50/50 - Form and Trauma
  3. David Pescovitz - The Lonely Man Theme
  4. Christopher Penrose - Sympathy for a Chump
  5. Echelon/Jane Dowe - Robot Love I Love You
  6. Kuro Pipe - Bob Foxy/Midnight Sexy
  7. Yesterday's Heroes (a.k.a. Haco & Terre Thaemlitz) - Up'n'Down (Pogo-a-Gogo)
  8. Erik Dahl - A.D.D. Dance
  9. Simon Fisher Turner - Harrodspianos (T.T.'s Edit)
  10. Screech - Rain
  11. Brad Garton - Southside Silence
  12. Terre Loves Robin (a.k.a. Scanner & Terre Thaemlitz) - Terre Loves Robin
  13. Ralph Thaemlitz - Lincoln and Liberty
  14. Ultra-red - N30
  15. Takashi Kojima - Texts was Subscribed (T.T.'s Edit)
  16. Geri Thaemlitz - A Beautiful Rose Waltz
  17. You Speak What I Feel (a.k.a. SND & Terre Thaemlitz) - Singles Collection (Remixed by SND)

ReviewEdit

Terre Thaemlitz has got his own label and has had it for over 10 years, and for the anniversary, he compiled Below Code. The original release was a CD in a DVD case filled with postcards for each song; it was a limited edition of 250 given away for free. For those of us who missed that, though, he put up the complete contents (plus a bonus track) available for free download. (Just use the arrow buttons at the top to navigate through.)

It's a pretty cool compilation. Not all of it is great, but most of it is pretty cool. "10 Years Of Amazing Demo Tapes" is basically what it sounds like—a razor-tape of various demos. "Form and Trauma" is an off-kilter rock song—the vocals aren't really that great, but it is pretty cool. "Bob Foxy/Midnight Sexy" is sort of similar to this vein.

Family Guy fans will probably recognize "The Lonely Man Theme" as a cover of the "sad, walking away" music from The Incredible Hulk—it actually opens with a sample of Lou Ferrigno congratulating Comatonse on the anniversary. There're some more piano based compositions, like "A.D.D. Dance" (a really awesome avant-classical piano song with a drum machine), "Harrodspianos", which starts like a standard piano composition that gets processed in cool ways

There're quite a few noisy tracks on here—quite a bit reminded me of Otomo Yoshihide's more electronic-noisy stuff; like "Sympathy for a Chump" (vaguely-rhythmic static that goes into a computer voice speaking), "Southside Silence" (modified/processed ambient-noise recordings), "Texts was Subscribed" and " Terre Loves Robin".

Since most of this compilation is pretty much in the noise genre, there's quite a bit of found recording type things: "Robot Love I Love You" is a small child singing a song (the lyrics are basically the title) that intially threatens to be kind of cutesy and annoying (a la Negativland's "Clowns & Ballerinas" and "Over The Hiccups" from A Big 10-8 Place and Escape From Noise respectively), but then the recording is cut-up and processed and is actually really cool. I'm assuming that Ralph Thaemlitz and Geri Thamelitz are Terre Thaemlitz' parents or otherwise family members—Ralph sings a short, phoned-in song about Lincoln and Geri plays a nice accordion song—I'm not sure if the latter was recorded for this compilation ("Lincoln and Liberty" obviously was), but both have a "found family cassette" type sound to them, and they're surprisingly cool. And, "N30" is 10 minutes of field recordings from the Seattle WTO protests—it's not something I'd want to listen to much as there hasn't been much (if any) processing, but it is still kind of interesting—it doesn't really get boring.

Three of my favorite tracks are actually really poppy (and two of the three are by Terre, which makes me want to check out his non-Rubato CDs):

"Up'n'Down (Pogo-a-Gogo)" by Yesterday's Heroes (a project between Terre and Haco) is really, really cool—it's sort of an art-dance track; very little in the way of different lyrics and pretty minimalist, really, but really keen. I want to get the full Yesterday's Heroes album.

In a more straight electronica feel, "Singles Collection (Remixed by SND)" by You Speak What I Feel (Terre & SND—couldn't find any more information on SND, though) is really cool. I don't think this is available anywhere else, either, actually. I'd like to hear the non-remixed version, too; this one is really cool, though.

"Rain" by Screech is sort of a world-pop kind of thing; cool percussion in it. Screech released some stuff through Hippocamp, which also put out Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds (though Screech didn't appear on that comp.).

Anyway, though—it's a pretty cool compilation, and it's free! So, hey, what more could you ask for? - Rev. Syung Myung Me

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