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Door to door


Home again, home again. Been gone so long I can barely begin to string words together to make sense of it all. Spent last weekend holed up in a tiny town called Zapallar a few hours north of Valparaiso - a summer-home community for rich Santiaguinos, something like a cross between Carmel, California and Cadaques, Catalunya, but charming as all get-out. Novelists in need of a place to withdraw and write, I wholeheartedly recomment Zapallar's Villa Alicia, a charming pension with wooden walls and pink curtains and a back deck overlooking pine-covered hills, where Alicia bring your breakfast to your room every day (peaches, grapes, honeydew, fresh muffins filled with manjar, toast, coffee -- well, Nescafe, but we can't have everything, can we) and looks at you only slightly askance when you've been holed up in your room all day instead of down at the beach. If you do eventually make it outside, there's fresh congrio to be had at El Chiringuito (where the waiters get extra points for telling you which fish are and are not locally caught), slathered in a burned garlic sauce, for about $8 a plate. The first bite almost made me weep. The waiter scurried over, thinking something must be amiss, but no, it was just the best fish of my whole goddamn life. The view from my outdoor table -- compact harbor, boats bobbing, Orion steadfastly drawing his bow overhead, for once successfully fending off the beast of light pollution and glistening brighter than I've ever seen him, outside of the Sierra Nevada or the high Andes -- only helped laminate the scene with a the kind of durable skin of perfection you can tuck away in a back pocket and keep clean and relatively unsmudged forever.

Regular readers will not be surprised at these sorts of sentimental outbursts from me, and hopefully will indulge them, in lieu of more substantive, music-related criticism for the moment. There's a massive, 2500-word director's cut of the MUTEK Mexico tour diary in the works, but first the short version has to go to print in Index mag, so be patient. There are a slew more photos of Chile to come, and soon I'll dent this stack of CDs on my desk. I have to admit that for a three week absence, the pile of goodies was pretty meager, but I am at the least very excited about the Katapult compilation from Paris' Katapult label, featuring Ark, Kean, Krikor, Cabanne, and more of what I like to call the "K-krew." Based on his last few 12"s and his new Katapult 12" with Krikor, that Ark is a genius. No one is doing stubbed-toe funk like these guys -- it's like Mr. Oizo with a dash of Dimbiman soaking in several shots of Fernet.


Yes! I think the whole French stutter-house scene is very underrated at the moment. All the recent releases from Circus Company have been stunning, and I think 2004 is going to be their year!

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