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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
No Luck Club
Prosperity
Igloo Cartel

Rating: 9/10 ?


November 20, 2006
Just when I was banging my head against the wall in frustration, a Vancouver-based trio sent me an advance copy of the finest instrumental hip-hop pedigree I've come across this year. I immediately thought to myself, Finally, a record that is like a cinemascope, discharging sonic luminaries like we were all starring in a remake of Chaplin's Modern Times. But then the first track, "Triad Zone," languidly worn out in its low-cholesterol abrasiveness, was more typical of a film noir. It's even better, I recall salivating to my inner self. (Actually, "Triad Zone" had already made it to WFMU host Noah Zark's podcast Coffee 2 Go earlier this year, so it wasn't completely unrecognizable.)

Prosperity is an urban fairytale, inebriated with oriental fumes. In fact, as the press release puts it, this is the second chapter of a trilogy of recordings, inspired by the Chinese deities symbolizing luck and good fortune. The first was Happiness and it was released in September 2003. Could they be more conceptual? Yes, they could... and they are. Going through No Luck Club's latest effort is like reading a book, divided in four chapters, here eloquently called "suites": the Cinematic Suite, the Uptempo Suite, the Introspective Suite, and the Nada Suite.

Founded in 2000 by the Chan Brothers (Matt, the turntablist, and Trevor, the laptop samplist), No Luck Club claimed the attention of Dan the Automator's 75Ark Records when the group issued their mix CD and demo, Newfangled Moments. They signed a contract with the label but, when Happiness was already in the stove, 75Ark went kaput. A revised version of the album would be released by Ill Boogie Records two years later, and Vancouver DJ champion Paul Belen (a.k.a. Pluskratch) would join the Club in late 2004. With the addition of Pluskratch the brotherhood of the ring was complete, so to speak.

Imagine an art gallery comprised of four rooms, each devoted to a specific musical mood. Each hosting three alphanumerical combinations you have to decipher so that you can unlock three different safes, and move on to the next suite. I think this is a nice way to describe the mental maze that Prosperity induces. But there's more to it. The eclecticism is its watermark, from vacant electronics ("Corporate Spy Hunter") to piano-driven, dub incursions like "OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in Dub)," and from the scratching, fatso delivery of "Rock n' Roll Monster on Sunset" to the tropicalia, jazz-funk intersection on the Portuguese/Brazilian-titled "Mais Ritmo no Carnaval" - which translates as "more rhythm in Carnival".

And, of course, there's even room for politicized, mind-numbing numbers like "Our Story," which speaks up about the difficulties in Sino-Canadian relations, and features racist samples like "we don't want China men in Canada, this is a white men's country and white men will keep it so," and "the people of Canada do not wish to make a fundamental alteration in the character of our population". No Luck Club are not afraid of pouring salt in someone's wounds.

As far as musical spectres are concerned, No Luck Club could not be among better people. They have shared the stage with the likes of Buck 65, the pope of grainy, tedium-fuelled hip hop, M.I.A., the girl with "revolution" as her middle name, the mighty Jurassic Five, DJ A-Trak, DJ Z-Trip, among others. "Oh my god that's the funky shit!"

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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