Welcome to the first volume of Hidden Gems from the MRC! We here at the Music Review Committee at 88.5 KURE Ames Alternative love obscure music. Luckily for us, we have a massive CD collection at our disposal with some of the wackiest, most obscure, flat-out bonkers albums available. In this article, we will give a brief review of some of our favorite finds from the KURE library. We highly recommend you listen to any of these that might interest you. Enjoy!
– The MRC
Bür Gür – Have You Lost Your Faith In God?
By: Tony Hjelle
I originally picked this one up as a completely blind pick. I saw the cover and title and just had to know what it was about. To my surprise, it was one of the better albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. From the very first track, titled Afrobeat, Bür Gür sets the mood perfectly with its playful and catchy hooks, wacky synthesized sounds, and lighthearted vocals. Needless to say, it utterly captivated me within the first couple of seconds. Bür Gür makes use of wacky effects-driven synthy noises in conjunction with mellow and laid-back acoustic guitars that adds up to a sound reminiscent of Animal Collective and Of Montreal. In the back half of the album, Bür Gür flexes their synthy muscles and plays into the weird, layering their signature wacky effects with more distorted guitars until it culminates into a climax. Bür Gür then takes a decisive step back to let you be ensnared by the tranquility of their smooth guitars and effervescent vocals. Recommended tracks: Afrobeat, Green Sauce, If I Was A Child
Negativland – Dispepsi
By DJ Captain Cozy
This album was a bizarre surprise to find around the studio. In my long search for crazy and weird music, Negativland was a name that came up quite often. Negativland has a unique and musical style often that delves into sound collage and plunderphonics. This style of music centers around a unique arrangement of sound, in the broadest sense. Negativland makes use of original sounds (vocals and instrumentals), samples from other songs, or even random audio samples all to make one cohesive song. This style of music, of which Negativland was a forerunner in the 80s, has gone on to influence a lot of the modern music scene.
On this album, you hear Negativland create a really cohesive sound and theme with their sounds while also keeping the album engaging.
Ozma – The Doubble Donkey Disc
By Ethan Swan
Once upon a midnight scrounge through the studio, by some stroke of fate, I happened across this alliterative amarillo masterpiece. Captivated by the promising comment “separated from Weezer at birth” scrawled across the jewel case by a Music Review Committee from generations past, I dove right in. Ozma’s Doubble Donkey disc, originally released in 2002, is a doub(b)le EP, with the first half being a tribute to Yuri Gagarin loaded with Slavic musical motifs and nostalgia for the space race viewed through the lens of polished, early 2000s American nerd-punk. The first Donkey Disc is made complete by such ballads as The Flight (and The Landing) of Yuri Gagarin, and a punk cover of the Tetris theme, Korobeinki. The second Donkey Disc takes a much less Slavic approach to nerd-punk, and features a sound that earns this LP the Weezer comparison. On Maybe in an Alternate Dimension, Ozma croons over a failed relationship by making geeky pop culture references. Further tracks warrant a listen sheerly because of the title alone (i.e, Flight of the Bootymaster, The Business of Getting Down, etc.), giving the Doubble Donkey Disc perhaps the highest weirdness-to-quality ratios I’ve ever encountered on one of our old CDs.