The unlikely hits of Twisted Village

Name that tune
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 3, 2009

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Psychedelegates: How Major Stars exploded a loner scene. By Daniel Brockman

I have fond memories of my first visits to the basement abode of Twisted Village. Well, maybe “fond” isn’t the word, since my initial reaction was more like bewilderment. For your average rock fan, Twisted Village seems like a bizarro record store, generating a never-ending kaleidoscope of sounds that have folks rushing to the counter to ask, “Hey, what is this?” I asked Wayne and Kate what records, in their experience, tend to fly off the shelves, High Fidelity–style, the moment they put the needle on the wax.

WAYNE Well, one that I can get to fly off the shelves is this strange compilation called African Scream Contest [Analog Africa; a collection of ’70s Zimbabwean rock and soul] — that one’s pretty distinctive.

KATE Oh, and Éthiopiques [Buda Records; a 25-volume-and-counting series of Ethiopian soul, jazz, and traditional music that became popular when Jim Jarmusch included music from Volume 4 on the soundtrack to his 2005 Bill Murray vehicle Broken Flowers] — any volume, but especially the ones with Mahmoud Ahmed. I put that stuff on and, boom, those records are out the door!

WAYNE Let’s see. Oh, definitely the second Almendra album [Almendra, Sony BMG Import] — they were this late-’60s band from Buenos Aires, with a pretty distinctive sound.

KATE What about Luc Ferrari? His album Presque Rien [Musidisc, French import], I can sell that record to anybody!

WAYNE Yeah, that one has some of the most subtle editing and layering imaginable. The name means “near nothing,” and that’s pretty much what it sounds like, it’s really amazingly close to nothing!

KATE Also, Aguaturbia, this Chilean band from the early ’70s, can’t forget them! [Likely because of their infamous single “Erotica” — three and a half minutes of enthusiastic female moaning that tops even the Chakachas’ “Jungle Fever” for pure, gratuitous orgasmatronics.] Oh, and Slashdeath! Definitely Slashdeath’s Kein Mitleid [Die Taubnessel, German import]: a $27 one-sided LP. I remember putting that on and just being like, "This fucking rocks!”

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  Topics: Music Features , Jim Jarmusch, Twisted Village, psych-rock
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