Just Visiting

I haven't been able to listen to Ziggy Stardust since New Year's Eve, 1995, because some fucker thought it would be a good idea to dose me with three tabs of Jesus Christ Superstar LSD. Well actually, that was a really good time, but some OTHER fucker kept hitting the replay button and I swear I heard ZS at LEAST 35 times before 1996. To avoid flashbacks, I will not be listening to the Bowie-like Visit's first EP this New Year's. Even so, its piano-infused psychedelia is executed in surprisingly good taste--nothing sounds too much like the drug outtakes of The White Album. Jayson Kochan's faraway-sounding vocals are both urgent and restrained. However, the lyric "Plenty of space/plenty of time/it's too much to handle/ you're losing your mind" should be avoided at all costs for at least 12 hours after acid ingestion. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

STRONGBOX Anthems for the Friendly Fire Generation EP
(Ground Kontrol)

Forget the Sigue Sigue Sputnik reunion. Strongbox is the only '80s revival you need. From the computer-manipulated spoken word, introduction to the final glam-slam guitar riff, this EP is dressed for excess and then some. Opener "Prozac Smile" is the sort of anthem to prescription-drug love your average indie band wouldn't touch with a 10-foot feather boa. Kneel Cohn's vocals have all the sneer of Donovan Leitch on a bender in Chelsea. "Bang Bang Love" is like Gene Loves Jezebel's "Desire" recast for the 21st century. (This band namechecks the 21st century more times than Snoop Dogg mentions his ho's.) Imagine Poison doing T. Rex covers, or if Ministry had stuck with their early dance origins. It's trashy and flashy and it gets all Barbarella in all the right places. In short, it's 1986 in Portland again, which is a goddamn welcome change from our regular 1991 obsession. JAMIE S. RICH


Docking Sequence: BSI Campaign Vol. 1
(BSI Records)

Often the aim of various artist compilations is to sell CDs by the individual artists, and the compilation becomes destined for the used bins once its purpose is served. Fortunately, Portland label BSI's first compilation is much bolder than that, coming off like an update to those On-U Sound Pay It All Back collections, with their similar cross-fertilization of dub, hip hop, world beat, and experimental music. With many exclusive tracks, and artists from around the world (including some well-known names: Muslimgauze, DJ Spooky, Twilight Circus), Docking Sequence blurs national and musical boundaries, from futuristic hip hop (Onry & Oldominion) to electro-space funk (Otaku) to more traditional-sounding old school dub (Jah Warrior, Alpha & Omega). It all fits together like a well-programmed radio show, with very few sags, and lots of great infectious dance rhythms. ROLF SEMPREBON