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Careless Demos Cost Lives: #1

Never Mind The Concepts, The Soundtrack CDR

Never mind the concepts, they say. So what's the big idea? Pram and The Chemistry Experiment. OK, two big ideas. First, the wheezing, nagging, Zen repetition of Too Pure-era Pram. Second the technicolour cloudbursts of melody-hopping and riotous fun of the Chemistry Experiment. Violin, clarinet, sax and flute with beats. Here's another big idea: email

Ewawoowa CDR

In a different life, Ewawoowa sent me a manic remix of the Magic Roundabout theme. These days, such frivolity has no part in the Ewa game plan and the latest instalment of his serial demo output is as serious a slice of breakbeat atmospherics as you could wish for. Led by (and I love it) a tight, tight snare, the piano repeats refrains relentlessly - musical alliteration for the same effect as its literary counterpart - and scrapings, rattlings and drippings do the rest. Wrong Division, it's called. Soundtracks are his calling.

The Iskariots CDR

"! We - The Isakariots - like CTCL, Does CTCL like The Iskariots?" Well I can't talk for the rest of the fine folk on the mag, but ! I - Jimmy Possession - like The Iskariots. Brutality is the pick of the three on this demo. An old school reggae rhythm, a nod to Augustus Pablo and a socially-aware lyric delivered by (I'm guessing a Swede) Kristian Kall, with a twang of the Finley Quayes. Well worth 30 pieces of anyone's silver.

Serge, Demo #1 CDR

Je sais parler Francais un peu. Depuis Septembre 2002 j'ai etudie pour une heure tout les semaines. Serge aussi ont commence a Septembre 2002. La musique de Serge est tres bien. La musique de Serge n'est pas bien. It's hard to describe Serge, especially with French as lacking in adjectives as mine. On the one hand, they're just crap. Two French in London making music on a beatbox, synth and guitar mixed through a dirty sieve. On the other hand, the preferred hand, there's something magical about the louche, gauche manner in which their bon mots (sample: "girls should not have to wait") are delivered. New Elvis shatters an amateur Kraut groove with a shoehorned-in chorus while Martians is just silly brilliant Devo over a couple of looped bars of something half-romo. It's a mixture of Stereolab precision and Elastica slackness with second language charm. Encore! Serge, je vous aime beaucoup.

The Magenta House, Two Demos both CDR

It's a shame sometimes, when your work is already done. The association with Savoy Grand whose demos were so special back in the day would have been enough to get me interested. The music on these Magenta House demos would have had me frothing at the keyboard in the same way. (There's a brilliant mini album ready to go here, for a brave label.) But my work is already done. Across the top of the sleeve: "the missing link between Scott Walker, Kurt Weill, Nick Cave and European Film Noir." I can only endorse the opinion.

Adam Leonard, Demonstration CDR

Adam has been hassling me by email. Actually, that's not fair. Adam has politely asked me a handful of times whether I've listened to his demo. I left the last email in my inbox to remind me that he'd been waiting a long time. A bad idea. I just got pangs of guilt every time I logged in. But now his moment has arrived and the good news is that it was one-quarter worth the wait - four tracks of which one is a blinder. Music For A Slow Motion Film sees Adam sitting on a rock on the sea shore playing a mandolin while the wind whips his gravelled voice into a swirling echo.

Adam emailed me again after the review was published. It definitely wasn't any kind of hassling though. And he only sent one email. A single communique. Just this lone message:

>Although I am pleased to have made the sweet smelling pages of CTCL, I must challenge this: 
>"Adam has been hassling me by email. Actually, that's not fair. Adam has politely asked 
>me a handful of times whether I've listened to his demo". 
>A handful?? If you check your records, you will find I emailed you TWICE. 1 2. 
>Hardly in the same league as those people flogging body extension solutions. 
>And you base half your review on this mythconception. Tsk! 
>Have an unusual day - Adam.

Matt Cook CDR

(If It Ain't Broke) Break It sees Matt Cooke in abstract mode. His squashed electro throbs like the thumb post-hammer blow, every pulsation a slow flood of blood from the heart. And the heart is an acid box dispensing squiggles of semi-random burble at a speed somewhere near the bottom of its range. Less acid house, more acid tent. There's a beat made from a wobbleboard and a processed cat providing light relief. Am I selling this to you? No? Let's say Plastikman got bulky. Very bulky. Very bulky indeed. Would you be interested in that? I thought so.

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