Thursday, April 23, 2009

THIS WEEK IN SAN FRANCISCO

Hostile Crawlcore
Bay Area punk legends Flipper go through bassists like Spinal Tap did drummers; most recently, Nirvana veteran Krist Novoselic left and was replaced by Rachel Thoele, the band's first female member. After years of inaction punctuated by intermittent live gigs, Flipper is back for real — a new studio album, Love, and a live companion disc, Fight, are expected in May. The new songs are as sludgy and hostile as classics like "Life" and "The Way of the World," which brought the power of creepy-crawling slowness to the speed-crazed early-'80s hardcore scene, inspiring the Melvins, Nirvana, and others in the process. Drummer Steve DePace still lurches more than he rocks, while Ted Falconi's guitar and Bruce Loose's vocals have lost none of their snarling aggression.

German Engineering
Thomas Fehlmann, one of the prime movers on the German electronic music scene, has been around since the '80s, though his career really took off in the late '90s. He has released two full-length albums — 2002's Visions of Blah and 2007's Honigpumpe — for the Kompakt label, and has appeared on several volumes of its Total compilations, making tracks that combine the clean melodic lines and crisply metronomic beats that are the label's stock-in-trade with a warm, dubby bass presence. He's appearing alongside Gudrun Gut [pictured at left], an early member of Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, with whom he hosts the German radio show Ocean Club. Gut recently released her first solo album, I Put a Record On, with production and mixing by Fehlmann.

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