Archive for October, 2007

Now I am rarely self promotional, but I have to break out and do it sometimes, and even still this is only vaguely such. Original Merck artists Landau (2 of the original 4 members now) released their second album on a European label, and its quite a doozy. It came out on Milan Records, which is a fairly obscure label (to IDM fans at least), as they focus mostly on releasing large film soundtracks and the like. Because of this you may have missed it, and you also may be a bit surprised by what you hear on the album, as they really have turned into a futuristic IDM orchestra of sorts, but really they’ve moved beyond the IDM sound. As far as the quality of the music, let me just say that the albums namesake track, Janus Plays Telephone, is probably one of the most beautiful and well arranged tracks of all time. I’m not kidding. Its amazing. If the album were just that, and the Stevie Bam Jackson Remix, it would still be a block knocker. Speaking of that track, its a bit of a beefed up version of the one that appears on the original Merck Remix CD, even more to my liking though. When we originally got that track for the Mergerz 2xCD, Travis and I wouldn’t shut up about it, because it had come out so damn good. Its by far my favorite remix out of the 30+ remixes on the compilation.

Discogs Album Link

Second official album by the kings (and most commercially successful band) of the video game rock genre. It came out in 2005, but nobody seemed to want to make me aware of it, so I didn’t find out about it until earlier this year. Which makes the second album I’m reviewing on here that came out in 2005, but I didn’t find until 2007. Makes me kinda glad I quit putting out records, so I finally have time to find ones I like. Basically if you like playing Nintendo, you like the music from Nintendo games, and you like guitar, you should love their music. It takes you right back to catchy melodies that are buried somewhere in your subconcious. Definitely check out their first album as well, as its more goodness along the exact same lines. Also gotta give a little shout out to the unknown king of video game rock (and man who introduced me to The Advantage), Temp Sound Solutions. He has over a half dozen albums out, he has covered more tracks than all other video game rock bands combined, and hes done it all solo. badass.

Discogs Album Link

I have really been enjoying this album throughout the year. Twerk tipped me off with one of their tracks cause he thought I would dig it, and he was right. I sought out the full album, and its definitely one of the best things that came out in 2005 (and that I have heard this year). From the land down under (Australia), Pivot is Adrian Klumpes, Laurence Pike, Neal Sutherland, Richard Pike, and Riff Pike. Never heard of them? Well, me either, but a few of those guys are part of Triosk, who did an album with Jan Jelinek. So they can’t be all that bad. Some references of what they sound like for fans of Merck stuff, something like a mix of Tiki Obmar, Lateduster, and Tstewart. What your average listener would classify as somewhere between Electronic & Rock, and what the more astute may call math rock or post rock. An extremely well crafted album, with an excellent variety of sound.

Discogs Album Link

I started skating when I was a young kid living in Orlando. I wasn’t particularly good, and I have no desire to ‘get back to my roots’ now due to insurance reasons. But I have always held a healthy respect for the culture, and the people who risk their lives sliding down rails. If you have a free hour. I suggest you watch these videos. They basically cover two of the most influential street skaters of all time: Rodney Mullen and Natas Kaupus. Two very humble, laid back, and genius guys that invented most of the tricks that kids are out there doing today on the street. If you aren’t sold yet, its got great footage, history, and the music is dope throughout.

Rodney Mullen, parts 1, 2, 3

Natas Kaupus parts 1, 2, 3, 4

enjoy, posers.

PS: Why is snowboarding in the Olympics and skateboarding isn’t? Snowboarding is basically skateboarding in the winter, but done on a soft forgiving surface, wearing lots of thick padded clothing, with a bigger board, and its attached to your feet permanently. Wow. Hardcore.

Welcome to Merck Fragments. I’m Gabe Koch, the founder and manager of both Merck and Narita Records. We’ve stopped releasing new music on Merck as of January 2007. Since then I’ve been working on a little art project on the side, also got Narita on the back burner for now, but I have been meaning to set up a weblog to recommend music, links, and just rant, for a few years now. A lot of people have been asking for music recommendations recently, and I finally have the time and effort to do it. So prepare to finally learn a bit more about the person (and people) behind Merck Records.