Anima Sound System/Kiril/Zenith

Anima Sound System

Hungarian Astronaut

Tone Casualties

Aural Wallpaper. Dinner Music. Pleasant soundtracks for car commercials. “Tubular Bells” revisited. Where Are They Now: Goldie. “Intelligent” Dance Music. Bill Laswell is checking the mailbox every ten minutes for his royalty checks. Incidental Music.

Listen. Call it whatever you want. Trip-Hop. Post-Trip-Hop. Trip-Dub. Electro-Dub. Dub-Trance. Trance-Hop. Hop-Trip. Fine, but will someone please do the honorable thing and put this subgenre of music out of its misery? I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time, forcing the white-devil guitar prematurely into the rest home that it so richly deserved (preferably one of the types where they never get around to changing the bedpans), and creating a brave new experimental hybrid based upon the three-headed dragon of world music, dub, and unfettered electronic experimentation. Guess what? Failed miserably, and continues to fail. Look, I’m not disputing the abilities of these three groups. They obviously know their way around a studio, and they are obviously are well-versed in many different styles of music. So why did I feel so empty after finishing these records? Too (dare I say it) highbrow, too NPR, not enough risk, not enough teenage kicks. So what we’re left with are some brainy sound collages that are only good for doing your homework to. And what good is that? No good at all. Damn, I’m a bastard.

Tone Casualties, 6353 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028; The Music Cartel, 106 West 32nd Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001

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