Thursday, 29 December 2011

Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani

Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani (Sham Palace)
This time I am reviewing a Syrian record - I am doing it in my bedroom at home rather than The Gate because I fell over and had to go to hospital where they x-rayed me and said I had a fractured pelvis. I fell over on the stage during rehearsals for the show I spoke about last time so I never got to sing my songs which is a shame. I was in the hospital for nine days and then they sent me home but I am stuck in a wheelchair so can't get out. I was lucky really because I got out of the hospital in time for Christmas - I had a lovely Christmas; I got a token off Alfie who I live with and a dressing gown off Wayne who is another of my housemates. It was okay in the hospital and the nurses were nice to me but I am glad to be home and doing my reviews.
        This record I am reviewing this time is called Leh Jani and is by Syrian singer Omar Souleyman who started off by playing wedding parties in Syria but now plays concerts all over the world and has recently done some remix stuff with Icelandic singer Björk who I like very much and have reviewed before. Here is a video somebody has made for the song they did together:
          This Leh Jani record though doesn't have Björk on it and is just Omar Souleyman and his band playing the songs that they would play at wedding parties, the songs are very long (two are 15 minutes each and the third lasts half an hour) and on this double LP record there is just one song on each side on the first record and the third song is split over both sides of the second record. The first of these songs is called Introduction and it starts off with a few minutes of fast music played on Syrian instruments but this slows down and Omar starts talking in Arabic (or maybe Kurdish which Omar also sings his songs in). I don't understand any Arabic (or Kurdish) but if this was recorded for a wedding then maybe he is making a speech about the bride and groom and telling a few jokes. It is very popular in Syria to hire a band and have a big party, this is quite different from english weddings where you normally just have a disc jockey playing records. If I had of got married i'd have preferred a band to a DJ, maybe The Rolling Stones, I never got married though and I don't suppose I will now I'm 67. After Omar makes his speech the music starts to speed up again and the singing starts properly. The music is made by very talented musicians that Omar always works with called Rizan Sa’ id who plays keyboards and Hamid Souleyman who is a saz and bazouk player and it is quite different music to the music i am used to but in this song it sometimes reminded me a bit of the psychedelic music from the sixties that the hippies used to listen to when they were taking drugs and meditating.
          The second track Salamat Galbi Bidek is quite a bit faster than the last one and would be very good to dance to especially at a wedding. I imagine Syrian weddings must be loads of fun. There are loads of keyboards on this one and sometimes they sound like fanfares of trumpets and sometimes like bagpipes, there is also an electronic noise made by the keyboard which pops up occasionally that sounds like a group of women squealing with joy, it is a very funny noise but Arlo (who helps me with these reviews) tells me that Middle Eastern party music often has this noise in it. When Omar sings on this one it sounds like he is chanting the title of the song over and over again - In English the title means My Heart is in your Hands so maybe he is singing it to his wife or girlfriend. I liked this song very much because there are loads of different things to listen to in it and it is very fast and exciting.
           The next song is the very long Leh Jani and before I knew the title of it I thought Omar was singing about Laurel and Hardy but he wasn't he was just singing "Leh Jani", this made us all laugh and it was nice to be reminded of Laurel and Hardy because they were very funny and I liked them a lot. This song is the song that is half an hour long and split across both sides of the second record and I think it might be the longest song I have ever heard. When I was listening to this song to review it Mary and Clare my friends from The Gate came to visit me and Wayne came into my room too and we all listened to it together - Clare and Mary both liked the song and I think Wayne did too; he doesn't speak much so we couldn't ask him but he was dancing along by bobbing up and down on the bed. This song is another very fast song and I think the musicians must be very talented to play this fast and for this long, I think Omar must be very pleased to have musicians this good working with him. I enjoyed this song very much and didn't mind that it was half an hour long because I think that if you have a good song it makes sense to play it for as long as possible.
          Overall I would say that I like this record very much - it makes me wish I could go to a Syrian wedding or to one of Omar Souleyman's concerts one day and have a dance because I think it would be a lot of fun, that would have to wait I suppose though till my pelvis gets better and I can get out of this wheelchair. I liked the songs a lot because they are so different to what I'm used to hearing and even though the songs are very long they never get boring because they have some many different things going on in them. I would give this brilliant record 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Pharoah Chromium - Electric Cremation

A very nice picture of Pharoah Chromium meditating.
Pharoah Chromium - Electric Cremation (Grautag Records)
Electric Cremation is a double album by a Berlin musician whose real name is Ghazi Barakat but he calls himself Pharoah Chromium after a song by the very good Chicago band Chrome which you can listen to here.
          This record is split into four themes, one for each side of the records, and the first theme is "A musical reflection on the nuclear disaster of Fukushima." - I think this means he is playing music about when the disaster happened at the Japanese nuclear power plant after the earthquake there on 11th March. It was a terrible tragedy what happened in Fukushima because it just happened without warning and nuclear power kills people - I don't think we should use nuclear power stations to make electricity because they are too dangerous. When the disaster happened everybody here had a benefit concert which went alright because we raised £1000 for a Japanese charity - This week we are doing another concert, this time for Somalia, where I will sing a song i've written called Soho, here are the words to my song:

Soho by Peter Kemp
I got up in the morning and i was yawning,
I put my clothes on and had my breakfast,
And left the house quiet as a mouse,

I went to Soho.

I caught the bus, the 94, to piccadilly like i'd done before,
then i walked to Soho square, I always have a good time there,

I went to Soho.

I went past the strip clubs and all the sex shops,
I walk past some prostitutes, but i don't stop,

I went to Soho.

I go to a coffee shop and i get a coffee,
They charge £2 and it is very frothy,
I say hello to the people there,
At the coffee shop in Soho square,
I sit outside and have a smoke,
I am a most contented bloke,

I went to Soho

Then I go home, the way I came,
And next week i'll do it all again.

          The music on this Side one of the record then starts of with a sound like planes flying overhead and then a church organ comes in and it all sounds very eerie and spooky. This is a short track and is followed by a sad sounding song in french, the music on this one sounds like music you would hear by the sea-side except it isn't very happy sounding like sea-side music. I think the music is sad because it is about the Japanese disaster so it has to be sad because it was a very terrible thing that happened. The next track is strange electronic noises like bubbling and birds squawking which is very interesting. After this is a tune that starts off with sounds that remind me of air raid sirens so maybe it is the sound of the alarms in the power station after the earthquake, then there are strange electronic noises that sound like a violin played badly, it sounds a bit like the music from a horror film and I like it a lot. The last track on this side is a piece of music that starts quite quiet but gradually gets louder and louder  with noises joining in like a bugle or elephants crying - it is very sad sounding like all the rest of this music about the disaster in Japan. I think it is a good thing to write music about things that happen like this so that people think more about stuff and try and make things better so there will be no more tragedies in power stations.
The Barbican - Horrible.
       Side two of the records is called Feral and the letter I got with the record says it is "five vignettes that deal with Neo-brutalist idea's, science-fiction, after-life and the occult." - I didn't know what some of these things meant so we looked them up and a vignette means "a small piece" and neo-brutilism is a style of building made of concrete like The Barbican in London; some people don't like these types of building and I think they are horrible too. I do know what science fiction, the after-life and the occult are; science-fiction is stuff like H.G. Wells's world famous War of the Worlds, the after-life is when you come back to life after you die like Jesus did and the occult is stuff like devil worship.
            The music on this side starts off with electric guitar and strange talking which sounds a bit like a robots voice repeating the words "Pharoah Chromium" over and over. After that is a track which sounds like the music for a film where the world is ending, maybe because of the sun crashing down or blowing up, which would be terrible because everybody would be dead and that would be the end of us. After this is track which made me think of monsters coming to attack people after an atom bomb has been dropped, it is quite spooky music and I suppose some people might not like it because it might scare them but I liked it a lot. The next piece of music sounds a bit like digeridoo music except it is electronic; it sounds like music that would make you go mad if you listened to it too much because the electric noises makes your ears feel funny but I still liked it. The last song on this side sounds to me like the world waking up again after it has died, I think after the world dies everything should come back again and be happy and laugh and dance like after the war but I don't think that can happen really.
           The Third side of the two records is called Ghost and is "Pharoah Chromium's interpretation of new age and world music with strong Kraut influences." We did some research about these things and new age music is music for hippies, world music is music from around the world and Kraut is a rude word for a German but here means a type of music called Krautrock made by German people in the sixties and seventies - we listened to some Krautrock on youtube and here is a video of Faust performing a song called Krautrock for you to listen to:
           The music on this side starts off with lots of space-age electronic noises like the noises you might hear on a extraterrestrial's flying saucer so perhaps this is music made for aliens to listen to, it is very strange music. The next track on this side has noises on it that sound like a spade hitting something and more noises like an air raid and noises like wind blowing and lots of other noises all mixed up and after that is another track that sounds very synthetic but reminds me of a ship coming into land because there are lots of overlapping sounds like a ships funnel…at this point we got a bit muddled up with which track was which because the CD of the record I've got is divided into the sides of the record and not into the separate songs but the rest of this side is very good if a bit peculiar and would be good to relax and sit down and listen to at home or at a concert - it is very slow droney music and that is why i think it would be good to relax to.
            The last of the record is called Arabic and the letter says it is about  "The stereotypical fears of Islamophobia" - Islamophobia is prejudice against Muslims and I don't like prejudice at all because I have a learning disability and some people with learning disability have a hard time because people stare at us and don't like us and are not very nice. Some people don't like Muslims because people think they are all terrorists but this isn't true and most Muslims are just getting on with life like the rest of us. 
           The music on this side is based around Arabic music and features an Instrument called a Saz which is a lovely Arabic Instrument a bit like a guitar. Here is a video clip of somebody playing a Saz in a barbershop:
          The side starts off then with the Saz music and electronic whooping and fizzing noises in the background and it reminds me of a busy market place; Shepherds Bush where I live has a very good market that I like very much, you can get Cd's and DVD's and falafel and fish and clothes there and it seems like a very happy place. After this fast song things slow down a bit and the next track starts of with mainly just Saz music which is very nice to listen to and then there is the sound of a man shouting, I don't know what he is saying because it's in Arabic but it sounds like he is very angry about something. The last track on this side starts of sounding a bit like a band rehearsing for something and then it starts sounding less like a rehearsal and you can hear somebody singing in the background it is a very interesting track and a good way to end the record.
         Overall I would say this record was a very good record to listen to and I learnt a lot while I was listening to it, I am glad my friend Ed sent it to me. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Fall - Ersatz GB

The Fall - Ersatz GB (Cherry Red Records)
This time I am record reviewing the new release by Greater Manchester rock and roll band The Fall and I have had my ears syringed this morning so can listen better - The Fall were formed in 1976 by grumpy singer Mark E. Smith and some other Greater Mancunians and they are still going strong but Mark E. Smith is the only one still in the band. Ersatz GB is their 29th album but it is only the second one I have heard; I was sent Your Future, Our Clutter by Domino Recordings a while back but I never got round to reviewing it, I did listen to it at home though and liked it very much.
          The first song on the album is called Cosmos 7 and starts off with some fast punky drumming and bass before some keyboards come in played by Mark's wife Eleni Poulou and then the guitars and vocals come in. Mark's vocals are interesting because he sings in his own style and doesn't really sound like anybody else but I can't really make out what he's singing about; he does sound very angry though like he is having a row with his wife or his father. This is a good, loud and fast rock song which I think would sound very good in concert.
           Next song is called Taking Off so maybe it's about going to another country in a plane or maybe Mark is the pilot shouting at someone on a plane who is weeing in the aisle like that French bloke did recently - I'm not sure why he did that, I think he must have been drunk and couldn't make it to the toilet. I couldn't make out what the song was about really though because I couldn't make out what the words are again but I liked it a lot anyway.
            Nate Will Not Return is after this and is another loud rock song, this one is very poetic and is about a man called Nate who goes to the Tate in London with his Russian girlfriend. I've been to the Tate loads of times because I like the nice pictures there though some of them are a bit weird. I think The Fall are a bit weird too  because of Mark's way of singing but I like his singing and I think more people should sing in their own accents because it's nice to hear.
            Next song Mask Search reminds me a bit of old rockabilly songs and on this one Mark growls a lot again and says he is sick and tired of Snow Patrol, i've never heard Snow Patrol so I had a listen on Youtube and I think they are alright really but Arlo who helps me with these reviews says he thinks they are a bit dull so maybe that's why Mark doesn't like them.
            Greenway is the next song, this song might be about the guitarist who is also called Greenway. The song begins with a piano and then some growly singing comes in and then loud heavy metal guitars come in after that. I like heavy metal, especially Hey Colossus and Black Sabbath who I have reviewed before, heavy metal music is good because it is noisy fun music and I liked this song a lot because it sounds a bit like a heavy metal song. In this song Mark sings about seeing someone who looks like him on TV and also about his cat and dog - I've never seen anyone who looked like me on the TV because I only look like myself, I've also never had a cat or a dog but I'd like to get a day one day; probably an alsatian dog.
             The last song on side A is a much quieter, softer song because it is sung by Eleni and not Mark. She is a good singer and it makes a bit of a change on this record to hear a woman singing so I liked it. I think she might be talking about her marriage to Mark in the song, she must love him very much to sing a love song about him - I'd like it very much if some lady sang me a love song.
           Side B starts with Monocard which starts off with keyboard that sounds a bit like the beginning of the Doctor Who music. This one is another one that sounds like heavy metal but is a bit slower than Greenway, It also reminded me a bit of Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues which is a very excellent song so I'm glad I was reminded of it. Here is a video of The Moody Blues at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 for people to watch:

         After Monocard is Laptop Dog which is more punky than heavy metal but is still a good song and after that is I've Seen Them Come which starts of with slow drums which speed up and then after a bit the guitar and Mark comes in talking a bit fast so i don't know what he's saying but I think he is talking about a load of places he's been to, maybe with the band or maybe not because I can't really make it out; it's good though.
        The last song is called Age Of Chang - In the song Chang is not a chinese word but is just Change spelt wrong for some reason so maybe Mark can't spell very well or just can't be bothered. This is a good song to end the record on, it's very loud and shouty and very good.
         Overall I think this was a very good record by a very good band, it is a bit weird but that's a good thing, it's funny to be weird and I like weird things. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Ghédalia Tazartès - Superdisque

This time I am reviewing Superdisque by the Parisian trio of trumpet player Jac Berrocal, guitar player David Fenech and singer Ghédalia Tazartès, I was sent this CD by Ed from who sends me lots of interesting things to review so thanks to Ed. I am interested in hearing this French music because I've not heard much French music expect for Serge Gainsbourg and Charles Aznavour both of whom I like very much. The music on Superdisque sounds nothing like Serge Gainsbourg or Charles Aznavour though because it is much weirder than anything they did.
       The record starts of with deep, dark singing called throat-singing. Throat-singing is a very peculiar type of singing that they do in Tuva and Mongolia (see video below), I like this throat-singing very much and there is lots of it on this CD as well as other interesting ways of singing. As well as the funny singing on this song there is trumpet and noises like a ships funnel which I think is made with guitar, it is quite a noisy, chaotic song and fun to listen to, it doesn't really sound like anything I've ever heard before.
            The next song Human Bones is another weird and funny song with more throat-singing in it. It is called Human Bones because instead of trumpet the trumpet player plays real human bones, this is a bit comical and I think it's ok to use human bones as an instrument - some people might not like this because the bones would come from a dead person but I wouldn't mind someone playing my bones after I died because I'd already be dead so I wouldn't feel anything.  
           Next after Human Bones is Cochise and in this one the vocals sound like someone shouting and moaning a bit like someone who has died and come back to life again. There is trumpet and drums (maybe bongo drums) on this one and it would be quite a good song to play at a Halloween party if you wanted to scare people. We had a Halloween party here at the Gate and the arts group made body parts to hang from the ceiling for it and we danced to some music and had sausage rolls and crisps and stuff to eat, it was a very good party.
           The next song is called Quando and has some good accordian playing in it and also ukelele and toy piano. This song has more normal singing on it and no throat-singing but it is still very nice and good to listen to and it sounds very french to me because of the accordion but I think the words are in Italian not French because Quando is the Italian word for when.
          Next is David's Theme which again is very strange; on this one the trumpet player plays a sea shell as well as a trumpet which I think is a very clever idea. The singing on this is very interesting too; it's a bit like throat singing because it is very deep but It's not quite the same and sounds a bit like Popeye singing or sometimes like an animal, maybe a cat, crying in agony. I liked this one lots even though I've never heard anything like it before.
          After this is Ife L'Ayo which starts off with Jazzy trumpet like you used to get in old dance-halls and other sounds like people marching to war then there is some different music made of music boxes and singing which sounds a bit like people with learning disabilities singing before it goes back to the dancehall trumpet.
          Porte De Bagnolet is the next song and sounds like Indian music to me; like you might hear in a Hindu temple - it is a very curious song with more throat-singing in it and something like a flute and bongo drums and screaming like somebodies wife or daughter has died and accordion and bird-song and jungle noise all mixed up, I liked this one a lot.
          The next song is called J'attendrai and is a slow one with vocals like somebody crying and sad sounding trumpet playing, it sounds a bit like a song you would play if you were upset because somebody died or because your wife has left you.
          After this is another sad sounding song which reminds me a bit of a church service because it has noises like bells in it made by a gamelan which is an instrument a bit like a xylophone. This one has more throat-singing in it and more unhappy sounding trumpet - I think the trumpet goes very well with the throat-singing on this one.
          Powow is the next song and has a big, deep drum running through it which sounds like a Native American war-drum and singing like Red Indians on the warpath and after this is a song called Sainte which is another sad sounding song that reminded me of death again. After all this sadness though is a happier sounding song with lots of accordions in it and very joyous singing and mad drumming which made me laugh. This would have been the last song but there is an extra track on the CD of just the guitar and trumpet player playing together, it's quite a noisy track and I thought it was very nice to listen to and a good way to finish the CD.
         Overall I would say that I thought this was a very, very strange and wonderful disc. I especially liked the throat-singing and here at The Gate me and my friend Francis tried it out ourselves as can be seen in the video at the end of this review. I would give Superdisque 10 out of 10 and I hope lots of people buy it.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dizzy Errol - Mother Lamp

Dizzy Errol - Mother Lamp (Echokammer)
This time I am reviewing Dizzy Errol's CD Mother lamp. Dizzy Errol AKA Erol Dizdar was born on a boat near Melbourne and was brought up by communists, and still lives, in Munich, Germany where he is a cultural phenomenon. He has been in lots of bands like Kamerakino and The Flynns but now he does music on his own.
          The first song on the CD is called Pride and is a very loud punky song with very loud fast bass playing and vocals which sound a bit spooky and dark and then turn to shouting. You can see a video of this song below it is a good video because he chucks himself off the stage and rolls around.
           After Pride is a song called All Around which has very good music which sounds a bit like The Cure or somebody whose name I can't quite remember from the early eighties. After this is a song called Not Like This which is funny because the voices in it sound like cartoon characters. In the song they talk about needing a cigarette - I like smoking cigarettes very much and smoke over twenty Benson and Hedges every day, other than record reviewing smoking cigarettes is my favourite thing to do and I don't really care that it's a bad habit. 
           The next song is called Fate and has acoustic guitar on it which reminds me a bit of John Lennon's War is Over, I think his voice sounds a bit like Lennon's too so I think Dizzy Errol must be a John Lennon/Beatles fan like me. After this is a song which sounds a bit like a child's skipping song so is a bit peculiar, I like it though because it is very catchy and fun.
           The Ballad of Mr. Grey is next and starts of with an electric guitar and no other instruments and sounds a bit like something from the past like folk music. This is sad song about a man drinking gin and walking around the streets on a dark, gloomy night. I've walked the streets of London on dark, gloomy nights myself when I used to live on my own independantly - I used to walk around the West End when the streets were empty in the night and I liked walking the round in the dark like that but I don't think the guy in the song does because he sounds a bit unhappy.
             Next up is a song called Motherbirds which I think sounds similar to Syd Barrett. I hadn't heard of Syd Barrett before today but we listened to some of his songs because Arlo at the Gate who helps me with these reviews thought they sounded similar and I agree. Syd used be in Pink Floyd but I only know The Wall so Arlo says I should listen to Piper at The Gates of Dawn which has Syd on it, maybe I will review it one day.
             Big Screen Affair is after Motherbirds and starts of just instrumentally for a while before the singing starts with Errol singing about machines and love, it is a sad sounding song but i still like it and it's ok to be sad sometimes.
             Construction Site is the next song and it starts off with noises from a building site like drills and hammers, this is quite a noisy song with shouted vocals about working on construction sites. I've never worked on in construction but I have worked as a messenger boy in a stockbrokers and as a kitchen porter in St. James Hotel, Park Lane, I don't work any more because I am retired and I like being retired because life is nice and easy if you don't have work.
             Last song is Disco Doll and is like a disco song from the seventies or The Pet Shop Boys but with a girl singer, it is a nice, upbeat song with a surprise bit at the end which is like a separate song with Errol playing guitar and singing for about ten seconds, this was a good way to end the record.
             Overall I liked this record, it was very good and I will listen to it again. I would give it 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bill Orcutt - How The Thing Sings

Bill Orcutt - How The Thing Sings (Editions Mego)
This time I am record reviewing Bill Orcutt's new release How the Thing Sings which is another CD sent to me by Ed from Bill Orcutt is a strange guitar player who used to be in a noisy rock band called Harry Pussy (see very good and very noisy video below) where he played electric guitar but now he makes music on his own with an acoustic guitar. 

          The CD starts off very loud which is strange for an acoustic guitar and the playing is a bit weird too. I think Bill Orcutt must be a very strange man but that's okay because it's alright to be a bit different and at least he doesn't sound like anybody else. In an interview in the magazine The Wire that my friend Arlo showed me Bill Orcutt says that he is trying to play his own type of blues music so me and Arlo listened to some blues music together from the 1930's by Charlie Patton and I suppose it does sound similar except Charlie Patton has more vocals in it and is less wild. Charlie Patton I think was a very good blues singer and I'd like to hear more early blues music.
          The next song is called The Visible Bosom which is a funny title for a song and made me laugh, it is a bit calmer than the first track and you can make out what he is doing a bit more. There are also vocals on this one which sound a bit like a baby crying for some milk or a dog whimpering; this made me laugh too, it is a very fun track.
           After The Visible Bosom is a song called Lost They Book which probably means Lost A Book because Lost They Book doesn't make much sense. This one is another quieter one and is quite nice but does have some noisier bits.  How The Thing Sings is the next song and this one starts off softly too but then it starts off properly with louder, faster guitar and groaning in the background like someone who is hungry, there is a bit near the end where the guitar sounds a bit like water dripping which I liked a lot. I think Bill Orcutt plays very well and I wish I could play guitar like him but I think it would be very hard to play like this and I've never tried to play guitar anyway so I probably wouldn't be any good at it.
           Till I Get Satisfied is next and is more strange guitar playing with lots of groaning and other funny voices. I think it's very interesting how he makes his acoustic guitar sound like an electric guitar and how he just groans and doesn't sing any words, this reminds me a bit of Alfie and Bogdan and Wayne who I live with because they don't talk much either and make funny noises sometimes - It doesn't matter that they can't talk, they were born that way and that's all there is to it, they are still very nice guys.
             The next track is another quiet one called Heaven is Closed to Me which is an interesting title. I don't think much of this title because I think Heaven is open to everybody and that everybody will get to go to Heaven except for those who go to Hell - I suppose the Devil might send me to Hell which I think would be horrible so I hope he won't. I don't know much about religion though so I'll just see what happens when I die. I hope Bill Orcutt does get to go to Heaven.
             After this is the last song which is called A Line from Ol' Man River. Ol' Man River is an old song that was sung by Paul Robeson years back before I was born. I don't think this track sounds much like Ol' Man River but it is still very good. It is a very long song which is both noisy and quiet and fast and slow and has vocals that sound a bit like a woman singing but not really.
              Overall I would say I liked this CD very much because it is very strange and interesting and good to listen to. I think Bill Orcutt is a very good guitar player and I think people would like him if they listened to him. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Collector Base Emitter - Peach Water

Collector Base Emitter - Peach Water (Wire Globe Recordings)
Pete reading his Collector Base Emitter press release.
This week I am reviewing Peach Water, a record by Collector Base Emitter, an Austrian duo who make very good heavy rock music. I was sent the Album over the internet as MP3 files which are songs that you listen to on the computer and not on a record player or a CD player. I was very happy to be sent this music because it's good to hear music i've not heard before. There have only been five hundred copies of this record made, which isn't many, so if you want one you will probably have to buy one quick because it is a very good record so it might sell out.
              The first song is called Dynamostraat and starts off quiet at first and a bit strange because it is quiet and not really like a rock group at all. It gets noisier and noisier though till the guitars and drums kick off and then it gets very rocking indeed. It is surprising that only two people made this music because it sounds like there are a lot more than two instruments. I liked this song very much.
             The second song; For Mother Russia starts off quietly again with just an ordinary guitar, and gets louder and louder until at the end it is very noisy. This track doesn't have vocals in it and instead has a long guitar solo and I can imagine a guitar player sitting at home on his bed playing along to it and having a good time. I'd like to play guitar and might start learning one day. I do sing though and am going to sing a song i've written about Soho at a show in December. The show is going to be a show to raise money to help people who haven't got enough to eat in Somalia.
            The next song is called Peach Water and starts off like Sandy Nelson's Let There Be Drums which came out around 1965, then the guitars start and it's quite slow and noisy, there are noises like a church bell in it and reminds me a bit of a Hey Colossus song that i've reviewed before that also had noises like bells and noisy guitars - I like Hey Colossus very much because they gave me a T-shirt.
           After Peach Water is a song called The Frog Butcher which starts off noisy but soon goes softer and more relaxed before getting all loud again with shouty singing but I couldn't make out what they are singing about. After this bit an organ comes in and some mad guitars and drums and it all finishes off with a sound like somebody with something wrong with their throat - I liked this song a lot because it changes all the time so is very interesting.
           The next song is called Estelle and is a short acoustic guitar track, it is very nice to listen to and I wish it were a bit longer. After this is another noisy and then quiet and then noisy rock song with lots of guitars and other noises some which sound like crickets talking to each other in the long quiet bit. I like this because it reminds me of the noises of crickets that I heard walking in the Portuguese countryside when I was on holiday there. I like the way this band moves from the quiet, relaxing bits to clashing heavy rock very much.
            The last song is called Light Bulbs and Wine and reminds me a bit of Santo and Johnny who made the song in the video below. I like this sort of music a lot and it's a very good way to end the record.
          Overall I would like to say that I enjoyed this record very much because there were lots of different, interesting things to listen to and I would give it 10 out of 10.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Dirty Projectors & Björk - Mount Wittenburg Orca

Dirty Projectors & Björk - Mount Wittenburg Orca (Domino)
This week I am reviewing a CD by The Dirty Projectors & Björk that I was sent by Bart from Domino Recordings who sent me 24 CDs to listen to; I was very pleased to have been sent all these CDs. The Dirty Projectors are a band from Brooklyn, New York City led by Dave Longstreth and Björk is a very good singer from Iceland who I like very much and this CD is a CD that they made together. 
           The first track on the CD is called Ocean and starts off with Björk howling a bit like a wolf in the middle of the night and then she starts singing sounds that sound a bit like like child softly crying. This is a very short song which leads into the next song On and Ever Onwards which has Bjork in the background singing "Ah, Ah, Ih, Ih" and singing on top about love being all around. It is a very happy song that i think would be good to play when you were a bit sad to cheer yourself up.
           The next song is called When the World Comes to an End and only has Björk in the background and instead has the man singing on it about the world ending and how he will love his girlfriend forever - he is a very good singer but not as good as Björk is. I don't reckon the world will come to an end and don't really worry about it too much but I do think it would be terrible if it did and I think we should do all we can to make sure it doesn't happen. 
            After When the World Comes to an End is a song called Beautiful Mother and is another happy sounding song with clapping in it and lots of strange voices on top of each other but very not many other instruments, this happens a lot on the songs on this record and sounds very nice, like a strange choir. A lot of the records I have reviewed lately have had lots of shouting in them so it makes a nice change to listen to listen to a record like this. The next song is a slow, relaxing song called Sharing Orb and this leads into another song No Embrace which mainly is sung by Dave Longstruth, this seems to be a sadder song than the rest of the record. I think it's alright to sing sad songs about sad things and as long as those things don't happen to you you don't need to be sad yourself. When i'm sad I listen to music and that makes me happier again - when my mother passed away in 2000 I was very sad and cried a lot but most of the time I'm quite happy because I don't really have any worries, I suppose I'm quite lucky really.
             The last song on this CD is called All We Are and is another sad sounding song and I think it is very interesting that this record started off very happy and ends up being quite sad but it's all still very nice to listen to and I would like to listen to more of Björk's music and also more Dirty Projectors. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

SchnAAk - Wake Up Colossus

SchnAAk - Wake Up Colossus (Discorporate Records)
This time I am reviewing a CD by a band from Berlin called SchnAAk - It was sent to me in a package of CD's to review by Ed who runs Dense Promotions; a music promotions company also based in Berlin, it was very nice getting the CD's in the post and I am liking listening to them very much.
         SchnAAk are Mathias Jähnig and Johannes Döpping from Berlin; Mathias plays guitar, keyboards, fx and sings and Johannes plays drums, percussion, xylophone, toys and also sings - Wake Up Colossus is their first LP and is very nice indeed.
           The first song is called Birds and Grains and starts of with fast guitars and drums and singing like a girl, there aren't any girls in the band so it must one of the men pretending to be a girl. The singing on this like on all the songs is in English even though they are a German band but I can't make out what they are singing about. The next song is called Whoop Whoop and reminds me a bit of T-Rex who I like very much - I've got all their hits on a CD at home. The drumming is very good on this song, in the letter I was sent about this record it says that as well a drum-kit the drummer uses plastic buckets and pieces of metal to drum on and this makes it very interesting to listen to. The singer is singing like a girl again on this song and there is lots of noisy electric guitars and other noises like whistling and the sound of a gaming machine - I sometimes go on the fruit machines and I once won a fiver in an Arcade in Waldorf Street, Soho but most of the time I lose.
SchnAAK in Times Square, New York.

         The next song on the CD is called Tiki and reminds me a bit of Cars by Gary Numan, the singing sounds a bit more like a man singing. I think it reminds me of Cars because there are lots of keyboard sounds on it, It is a very good song. After Tiki is Knuus which I think is a made up word and not German, this song sounds a bit like the music improvisation group we have here at The Gate because we use xylophones and drums here too like on this track. At music improvisation people sing whatever they want and other people play on keyboards and drums and guitars and other stuff - we all like music improvisation very much.
         This is Life Bubbly Hog is the next song and it has even louder guitars than the other songs so far but the same girly voice, they sing and play on this one like they are alcoholics who have had too much to drink - I only drink Coke with ice when I go out, I've never really drunk much but I wouldn't mind getting into drinking some day.
         My Robot Garden is next and starts off very loud with more singing like a girl but it slows down in parts and the vocals get like a man's voice might sound if you slowed it down which is a very interesting way of singing, it sounds a bit like when you play a record at the wrong speed. Next song is called Herero and begins very softly with clapping noises and xylophone or keyboard played quietly and quiet singing, then the electric guitars come in sounding very noisy like an ambulance siren and the song becomes very fast and noisy.
          The next song is called Ping Pong Miracle and has very strange singing on it that sounds like an old record I used to know that I forget the name of, it is an even noisier track than the last one and I liked it a lot because I like noisy music and at home I like to have my CD's turned up very loud - sometimes my support workers tell me to turn it down and I do but I turn it up again when they're not there.
          The second to last song is a mostly quiet one and is sung mainly in the high, girly voice again but there are also bits where the also a voice which is more normal and like a man's. There are lots of interesting noises and sounds in this song, sometimes they reminded me of the noise water makes and sometime of cars and sometimes of a cat stuck in some bushes - I liked listening to all these noises and working out what they reminded me of.  The last song starts of with violin and then gets very noisy indeed and it reminded me of T-rex again but then started sounding like a radio breaking down which is an interesting way to end the song and also the record. 
         Overall I thought this was a good noisy record,  I liked it very much and will listen to it a lot when I take it home and if the guys from the band ever come to London I'd like to meet them; I would take them on the open-top guided bus tour to see the sites and then take them to Soho to my favourite coffee shop Aventi's for something to eat and maybe we could go to a peep show, we would have a nice time. I would give this record 10 out of 10.      

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (Sanctuary)
This time I am doing Black Sabbath which I bought from Westfield's HMV in Shepherds Bush with the Sex Pistols CD that I reviewed last time. Black Sabbath were from Birmingham and were one of the first heavy metal bands along with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple - I remember my sister played me a Deep Purple record in the seventies when we used to live together in North London but I forget which one it was, I liked it a lot though.
           Black Sabbath was released in 1970 and was the first LP by Black Sabbath so it is a very important record. The first song on the record is also called Black Sabbath and it starts off with the sounds you get when it's pouring down with rain and is thundering and with the noise of a church bell, it sounds very frightening. Then the guitars and drums start off and are very loud and slow and then Ozzy Osborne, the singer, starts singing about a figure in black and Satan. Satan is another name for the Devil, the Devil curses people and throws them in the fire and laughs at them, he is not a very nice person. I think he is singing about the Devil because he is a Devil worshipper and doesn't believe in Jesus - I think people who believe in the Devil are not very nice but I still like the music.
           Next song is called The Wizard and has lots of harmonica on it with the electric guitars, it is a fast, very good song about a wizard who makes people happy by casting good spells, If I could do magic like a wizard I would help people out especially people who believe in the Devil because they need help, I would probably cast a spell to make them happier.
           After The Wizard is the third song which is called Behind the Wall of Sleep and is about sleeping, I think, and after this is a song called N.I.B. This song starts off with some bass and then the singing and electric guitars and drums start, it is a very good rocking song and Ozzy sings about being Lucifer which is another name for the Devil, he also sings about being in love so it is a song about the Devil being in love; I don't think it would be nice to be in love with the Devil because he is wicked and does bad things to people. Next song is Evil Woman and in it Ozzy sings "Evil woman, don't you play your games with me" so it is a song about a not nice lady who is probably messing him around maybe by taking his money or shouting at him. I've never had a girlfriend in my life but if I was with a woman who messed me around like that I think i would leave her and find another woman who was nicer to me.
            The next song starts out softly with an acoustic guitar and Ozzy singing about red skies and soft breezes in the trees, you can also hear a jews harp which is a metal instrument you put in your mouth and play with your fingers like in this video:
After this quiet bit the electric guitars come in but there is no more singing this leads into the last song with is called Warning. This is another song about bad relationships, Ozzy is singing about a woman who is going to leave him and how sad sad this makes him. I think it must be terrible to have a girlfriend leave you because you would miss them being around and have no-one to talk to. This song then has a very long guitar solo in it played by Tony Iommi who is a very good guitar player, then Ozzy starts singing again for a bit about his relationship, this is a very good way to end the record.
           Overall I think this is a very good record that I think would be best played at night-time at a party - I would give it 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks

The Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks (Virgin)
This time I am reviewing Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols. Never Mind the Bollocks is a well known punk-rock record that I had never heard before so I decided to go to Shepherds Bush library to get it out and play it at home so I could review it but I couldn't get it there so had to go to HMV at the Westfield centre where I got it in a 2 for £10 deal with a Black Sabbath album.
              Punk-rock music is a type of music which came out in the mid seventies (the Sex Pistols played their first gig in 1975 when I was 31) and is loud guitar music with shouted vocals and a bit of swearing in the lyrics. The Sex Pistols are a very good punk-rock group who became popular because of songs on this record like God Save the Queen and Anarchy in the UK.
              The first song on this CD is Holiday in the Sun and starts off with the sound of soldiers marching before the music starts with loud guitars and Johnny Rotten, the singer, singing about not wanting to go on holiday in the sun and about the Berlin Wall which was a wall in Germany around communist East Germany. Unlike Johnny, I like sunny holidays very much and am going to the Algarve in Portugal this saturday coming and it will be very hot there. I'm looking forward to it very much and am going to sit on the beach and walk around and go to some restaurants, I might try and find a Portuguese record to review while i'm out there.
              Next up is a song called Bodies and is about a woman from Birmingham who has an abortion - I don't know much much about abortions so i'll just leave that. This is a loud song with a lot of shouting and swearing in it, i don't mind the swearing in it because it's just music. Some people don't like swearing because they think it's bad language, I've never sworn in my life except for in Video Drama but that's okay because it was just acting. After Bodies is No Feelings which is about not caring about other people - There are some people who are like that and I think this is terrible because they have no consideration and hurt people, I think people should be good to each other because it's better to be friendly with people and to care about each others feelings. I've never really had anyone be nasty to me and I think it's because I get on with other people and always have, all my life - I like people very much and don't have a grudge against anybody. Track four is called Liar and is about people telling lies. I don't like people who tell lies and I don't tell lies because it causes trouble. If people tell lies I ignore them and don't take any notice.
               Next on the record is God Save the Queen, this is a famous song because it's about not liking the Queen and so it was quite controversial when it was released as a single. I think some people don't like the Queen because she has too much money and doesn't do anything for herself because servants do everything for her but I think she's probably a very nice person so I don't mind her. After this we have a song called Problems where Johnny Rotten is singing about having problems - I think everybody has problems and that makes life hard, some people have trouble with their wives and youngsters have problems and this isn't good. When I have any problems I speak to my care workers and they sort it out for me but I don't have too many problems really. After this is Seventeen which has a chorus which goes "I'm a lazy sod" that made me laugh.
              Anarchy in the U.K is the next song and is another famous Sex Pistols single. Anarchy is when you don't have any government which would be alright I suppose except I wouldn't get any pension and I might starve then. Submission is next and has some good bits in it where Johnny Rotten isn't singing and is just laughing and making noises like a cockatoo, I liked this one a lot.
             Pretty Vacant is next, this is a very good song with great music and a shouty chorus, it sounds like Johnny Rotten is swearing in it but he's not really.  After this is New York which I think is about not liking Americans and last on the album Is EMI which is about not liking the record company EMI because all EMI cares about is money and the Sex Pistols didn't like that at all which is fair enough.
              Overall I thought this was a nice record and I will listen to it a lot in the future. I would give it 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sebastian Kellig, Nick McCarthy und Hank Schmidt In Der Beek - Lunsen-Ring

Sebastian Kellig, Nick McCarthy und Hank Schmidt In Der Beek - Lunsen-Ring.
This is a record made by Seb, who I have known for over ten years, and his friends Nick and Hank. The record came about because Hank, who is an artist from Munich, wrote a book of poetry in German all about sleep and going to bed and because Seb and Nick (his friends from when they all lived in Munich) are musicians they all decided to form a group to make music to go with the poems and to make this record at Nick's studio which is called Sausage Studios and is in Hackney.
          The record starts off with a big fanfare and then Hank starts by reciting one of his poems in German before the music starts and Hank starts singing, also in German, Hank has a shouty singing voice a bit like you hear in punk music. In between the different poems on this first track everybody sings "La La La La," this happens a lot on this record and makes it very good singalong music. The first song goes into the second song which is more lively with big guitars and more La la la's - it reminds me a bit of The Who who I like a lot especially My Generation which I have on a 7" Single. After this there is a nice soft song played on an xylophone with a girl singing on it, the girl singing is Sarah, Seb's girlfriend, who also plays violin on the record and sings on some of the other songs - Sarah has a interesting soft voice and sounds good on this song. The fourth track sounds a bit like a country song with Sarah on violin and Hank and Nick playing recorders, they play their recorders very well. The next song has Hank and Sarah talking in German, Hank is teaching Sarah to speak German but Sarah doesn't get it right because German is a bit complicated, the music on this song starts of with slow drums and keyboards but the music gets very fast by the end.
             Side two of the record starts with Sebastian playing his Oud which is an Arabic instrument like a guitar, then middle eastern drums comes in and Sarah again on violins; it is a very nice arabic sounding song leads to the next song which is much faster with lots of fast drumming and very quick keyboard playing from Nick which reminds me of Jewish party music. The next song starts off with everybody singing without instruments in traditional German style then drums start and everybody starts shouting and it all sounds a bit like Piccadilly Circus - You can see interesting video of this song at the start of thes video below which is of a concert of this record in Munich in May this year.

           The next song starts with a whistle from an old steam train and is a fast country song with a very good guitar solo in it and this is followed by a slower shouty song with more La la la's in it - I like all the La la la's on this record. The second to last song starts off slow before getting faster with even more La La la's, we have made a video of part of this song which you can see below - we made the video at the Gate to help Nick, Seb and Hank out.

             The last song sounds a bit like a church choir or maybe like some Hawaiian singers, there is no guitar on it or other instruments just people singing, it is a very good way to end the record.
             Overall I would say this is a very good record with very good music on it, I would give it 10 out of 10.

Peter with Seb & Nick - Dec 2011.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Nochexxx - Savage Herald / Charro

Nochexxx - Savage Herald / Charro (Ramp Recordings)
This is another electronica recording that was sent to me by Nochexxx himself to listen to. The music is from a twelve inch single with two songs on it that he has released but I am listening to it on the computer.
          Nochexxx is a musician from Cambridge who makes electronic music on synthesizers which is a bit like Actress's who I have reviewed before but Nochexxx's music seems to be a bit more Jazzy.
          The first track Savage Herald starts off with a heartbeat and reminds me of a machine in hospital when you are fighting for your life, there is also a keyboard there and then the drums come in and the music becomes very funky before a voice starts going "Woooo Wooooo" a bit like indians do when they are attacking cowboys in a western film. The song changes a lot with different keyboard bits and drumbeats coming in making it more interesting. I liked this song very much.
Thumbs up to Nochexxx.
          The other track Charro is a bit faster with drums which remind me of clapping and funny sounding keyboards which remind me of eighties music that I used to hear on the television, occasionally voices comes in like kids shouting "yeah!" at a birthday party. We have parties here at the Gate where our band plays and everyone dances, I think this song would go down well at one of our parties because it's a happy sounding song that I think everyone here would like.   
          Overall I thought Nochexxx's music was very good indeed and I am very happy that I was sent it to listen to and would like to thank Nochexxx very much, I am going to get it put on a CD so I can listen to it again. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Box Codax - Hellabuster

Hellabuster is the second album by Box Codax - Box Codax are Manuela Gernedel who I know because she works here at The Gate doing art groups, her husband Nick McCarthy who played the keyboards here last halloween when we had a party (I sang The Monster Mash) and Alexander Ragnew from Munich who I have not met.
Manuela and Nick at our halloween party. 
          The first song is called Hellabuster and has piano on it like John Lennon plays at the beginning of Imagine. It sounds a bit like The Beatles but also very modern, it is a happy sounding song and a good start to the CD. The next song, Seven Silvers, is sung mainly by Manuela and sounds like seventies disco, it is a fast song and seems to be a story about a boyfriend and girlfriend who are falling in love because the chorus says "Can't get you out of my mind." A lot of the songs on the CD are about a relationship and i think the songs are telling a story about love and about how hard it is sometimes to be in a relationship. The next song for example seems to be about a man not being able to sleep because he is worried about his girlfriend who is not with him. After this song is a funny song called Choco Pudding, i watched the video for this on the Hellabuster website, where you can also see videos for some of the other songs on the CD, it made made me laugh but also feel a bit sick because the man in the video sings with a mouth full of chocolate pudding. Pour Moi, the next song, has a deep man's voice singing on it and a high woman's voice which sounds like a kid singing, it is a sad sounding song about nightmares - I don't have nightmares much because i have trouble sleeping but I did once have a nightmare once where I went to the beach on holiday and drowned when i went for a swim. After this is faster, rockier song with shouting in it like somebody who is cross because his wife or girlfriend has left and after that a slower song with Manuela singing on it which also sounds a bit sad; Manuela has a nice, very girly voice a bit like Jane Birkin and this song reminds me a bit of Je T'aime by her and Serge Gainsbourg. The next song is another sad song about broken hearts after a relationship has broken up. The song starts out very slow but more starts happening around the middle with the vocals turning into shouts about learning to live with a broken heart. 
           After all these sad songs things get a bit more happy with the next song Sandy Moffat, the 
This song has a good video which you can see here, the video was made by German artist Hank Schmidt in der Beek who I met when he came to The Gate to star in the Video Drama episode The Druggies Next Door which you can see below. Hank has also made a record with Nick from Box Codax and Sebastian who works here at The Gate and I will be reviewing that too soon.

          Next up is a slow song with acoustic guitar and violin and occasionally trumpets, it is a song about friendship - it is good to have friends because they help you with stuff and you can go the the pub and buy drinks for one another, I meet my friends every monday night and we go to different pubs around Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith. The next song is another slow one and is about Bedrooms and the things people do in bedrooms and then there is a faster song which sounds a bit like a reggae song, Manuela sings in this one about sleeping and dreaming. The last song uses the same words as Seven Silvers but is much slower, it's funny how they have done this and a good way to end the CD. 
          Overall I think this is a very good album and I hope many people will buy it. I would like to thank Manuela and Nick for sending me the CD and congratulations to them too. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Actress - Harrier ATTK / Gershwin (& Roy Orbison - The Actress)

Actress - Harrier ATTK / Gershwin (Nonplus)
This record is a twelve inch single with two songs on it by electronica music maker Actress also known as Darren Cunningham from South Norwood, SE25. I've not really listened to much electronica before because most of the music I listen to is guitar music from the sixties. Electronica music is music made with synthesisers, drum machines, keyboards and computers and is made mostly for dancing to in discotheques but you can listen to it at home too.
          The first song Harrier ATTK is a slow moving, repetitive track with soft sounds like rain falling or electricity coming through the wires or maybe like there is a crack in the record but I think it is supposed to sound like that. In the background there are other sounds which reminds me of the noises in a telephonists room in an big old office building. I like this piece of music and it would be good to fall asleep to as it is very relaxing and would make you sleep well; it is not really music you could dance to though.
          The other song is called Gershwin; George Gershwin was a composer who composed hit musicals like South Pacific and Porgy and Bess but this track is nothing like what Gershwin would write. It is a faster song than Harrier ATTK and more like something you could dance to as it is very jazzy. The main sounds in this track are noisy electronic drums but there is also electronic pianos in there too and perhaps this is why it is called Gershwin as Gershwin was also a pianist as well as a composer.
          Overall I would say that I thought that both of these songs were very nice to listen to and i would like to listen to more music by Actress and to more electronica. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Roy Orbison - The Actress
By coincidence, my favourite song at the moment is The Actress by Roy Orbison. Roy Orbison was a very good songwriter and a singer that I like very much whose first record was Ooby Doobie in 1956. Oobie Doobie was a rock and roll record but Roy soon started making more sentimental music like Only the Lonely in 1960 and Dream Baby in 1962, The Actress was the B-side of Dream Baby. Roy Orbison died in 1988 aged 52 and this is a great shame because a lot of people liked him and will miss him. The Actress is a very sad song about a woman who is pretending to love the singer but doesn't love him really. So here is "The Big O" himself singing this great hit of his, I hope you all enjoy it:

Friday, 22 July 2011

Akita / Gustafsson / O'Rourke - One Bird Two Bird

Akita / Gustafsson / O'Rourke - One Bird Two Bird (Editions Mego)
This is a very noisy record made my Masami Akita, Mats Gustafsson and Jim O'Rourke. These three musician's all make their own kinds of strange music and first I shall talk about the music they make on their own. Masami Akita is a noise musician from Japan who has made hundreds of noise music records as Merzbow since 1979. Noise music is not like other music, it uses different sounds like feedback and distortion and static like when you tune a radio between stations. I have been listening to noise music so that I can write this music review and thought it was very good, it made me laugh too. Mats Gustafsson is a saxaphone player from Sweden who makes mainly free jazz and improvised music, he plays often with Peter Brötzmann who i have reviewed before and with lots of different other kinds of musicians too.  Jim O'Rourke is an american musician and producer who has made lot's of different kinds of music - i listened to some soft guitar music he made and some which sounded like keyboard or computer music.
             On the One Bird Two Bird record, which is just two very long songs one on each side, these three musicians come together to make weird music which is not like anything I have heard before, it doesn't have a beat like most music does and the instruments they use sound very different to normal instruments with lots of different sounds mixed up together.  Side one is quite slow, sometimes it sounds like train noises and sometimes like wind and sometimes like the noises machines make in factories, sometimes you can hear what sounds like screaming and when Gustafsson plays his saxaphone it sounds like the noise made by a ships funnel or maybe bagpipes or an alpine horn or sometimes like cows mooing, it is all very noisy and very interesting.  Side two is faster and even noisier. Here the noises sound like the engine of a car and metal being banged together, there are also sounds like car horns or air raid sirens and sometimes there are noises like birds screaming maybe because they are caught in traps. The saxophone playing on this side also sounds like animals screaming, maybe dogs.
            Overall i would say that this is a very scary sounding record and I think it is meant to frighten you but i like it very much because it is very different, I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Das Weiße Pferd - San Fernando

Das Weiße Pferd - San Fernando (Echo Kammer / Piko's Yodelin Records)
This is a record by Federico Sánchez and friends from Munich, Germany. Federico once came here to The Gate, the arts centre I go to, and played a concert with his band Kamerakino - they were a very good group and I liked the concert very much.
The record is dedicated to Jorge Cafrune who was a Lebanese Syrian who lived in Argentina and was a folk singer. In Argentina at the time there was a military dictatorship who didn't like his music so in 1978 they ordered his assasination and he was run over by a truck. It was a terrible tragedy that happened because a lot of people liked him and Federico has dedicated the record to him so that other people can hear about him. I think it is very interesting to hear about Jorge Cafrune and it is a shame about what happened.

          The record starts of with a song called Everything which reminds me of Rhythm of the Falling Rain by The Cascades, it is simple song played on acoustic guitar and what sounds like a mandolin with clapping for percussion, it is a very good start to the record. Next up is a song called Soviet Schönheit which means Soviet Beauty in English. It sounds like a German folk song but is a bit more funky, it is sung in both German and English and features Seb on Drums. I know Seb because he works here at The Gate, he is a very nice person and a very good drummer.  After a short song with what sounds like children singing on it and a short instrumental there is a song called Sexuelle Raserei which means Sexual Rage in English, it is a slow song with saxophones on it. Near the end of the song the vocals get a bit shouty like somebody is angry and is arguing with their wife or girlfriend but I don't know this for sure because it is in German. I still listen to music in different languages and it doesn't matter to me because I like to hear music from different countries. The next song is called Der Marquez and Seb tells me it is about a man who went to the Spanish bookshop that Federico works in and ordered a book by Gabriel García Márquez but never came back for it. The song is in Spanish and German so Federico must know a lot of languages - I wish I knew more languages so I could understand the record better but the only German I know is Guten Morgen and Auf Wiedersehen and Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The only Spanish I know is Adios.  Next up is a song also in Spanish and German which has a disco beat and is very nice. The last song on side one has Federico talking over saxophone and drums and making percussion noises with his mouth before the guitar comes in and the song gets faster and then slows down again - the song changes a lot and now Federico sings either like he's a choirboy in church or he shouts out his words like he is very angry.
           Side two starts off with a cover of Townes Van Zandt's Nothin'. Townes Van Zandt was a very good singer and guitarist from Texas. Das Weiße Pferd's version of this song is very good and quite different from the original which you can listen to here:

         Next up is another song in German called Famile which reminds me of The Bachelors, a group from the sixties, there is an instrumental bit in the middle with what sounds like parrots crying in it, I liked this bit a lot. The song after this has fiddles on it and this makes it sound like gypsy music and then after there is a short song Brand New Toyota which is a rewrite of Brand New Cadillac, If I had to choose between a Cadillac or a Toyota I would choose a Cadillac but I don't drive and so have to get the bus instead. The next track is another song called Knistern which in English means rustle or sizzle, it is a good song with the funny children's voices in it again. After this is a song called Stranger than Paradiso, Paradiso is the name of a record Federico made with his band Kamerakino, I think the song is about change and how it is a good thing. After another song all in German is the last song which is called Girls around the Corner. This uses the same music as the first song on the record but has different words and a girl singing and sounds a bit like a sixties girl band song. Everybody likes girl band songs so this a good way to finish the record. 
           Overall I really enjoyed listening to this record, it has a lot of different styles of music on it and I would listen to it over again. I would give this record 10 out of 10.