Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bee Mask - Elegy For Beach Friday / Mist - House

Bee Mask - Elegy For Beach Friday (Spectrum Spools)
This time I am doing 2 CD's of very strange and different music put out by a label called Spectrum Spools a label that puts out some very strange music indeed. The Cd's were sent to me by Ed from who sends me lots of Cd's to review that I wouldn't have heard if he didn't send them so I am very glad that he does. The first CD I am going to review is from Chris Madak who goes by the name Bee Mask and makes electronic music that sounds like it's from 2050 or sometime in the future when we will all be old or dead and the people left will be living in space. This CD was released on August 30th of last year but I am reviewing it now because I have only just got it.
         The first song on the Elegy For Beach Friday is called Deducted from Your Share in Paradise is one big, moving electronic noise that sounds like it was made on a musical Hoover. It is quite different from the music I usually listen to which is sixties and seventies music but I think it good to sit down and listen to all types of music because all music usually has something good in it that will be interesting to listen to.
Inside the London Planetarium - A good day out.
         The second song Fallen Tree Thursday and the Half-Crushed Arc of the Sky Taking Tea in the Pastoral Index sounds like music that you might hear at the London Planetarium which is a museum in Baker Street, London that has all space things in it like models of rockets. I like going to the planetarium a lot because it is very interesting and they have educational films on there that tell you all about the planets and the constellations and the sun and the moon. The song reminded me of the Planetarium because it has strange extra-terrestrial sounds on it.
             Track three is called Causes and Cures and sounds like an organ or a synthesiser getting louder and louder and noises like dripping water and maybe the sound of a fairground ride from the future. This is followed straight away by …So That We Each Wander Through A True Elysium which has the same sort of organ noise but is noisier with banging in the background like you might hear in a factory and jittery noises like you'd get in a weird film about creatures from space.
           After these two is a song called Askion Kataskion Lix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision which can be heard here:

The sound in this song reminded me of tanks moving towards a war with helicopters and planes flying overhead. I have never been in a war except when I was a baby and wouldn't like to because I would be frightened of dying and dying in war must be horrible, I don't like war at all.
             The next song is less noisy and sounds a bit like violins and funny bells about to start a concert. It is quite a relaxing, mellow song and a nice break from the other, noisier songs on this CD. This song mixes with the next one and things get much noisier again with sounds like old ships making noises with their funnels but then it softens down again and sounds a bit like a child's music box, I liked these two songs very much.
              In the Karst Interior is the next song and this one has lots of interesting noises in it like the sound of electronic birds whistling and more machine noises. Most of the music I listen to is guitar music so it is very interesting to hear how different music can be made with different instruments.
              Next up is a ten minute track called Stop the Night which begins with sounds like police cars or fire engines. These sounds mix up gradually with other noises that all keep going at once and by the end they all mix in one sound. It is very hard to describe this music because it is so different but I hope you all understand what I mean - sometimes I have trouble with finding the words for what I want to say but I think I do okay.
              How To Live In A Smashed State is next and this is different from the other songs so far because it stops and starts a lot and doesn't stretch the sounds out so much. There are lots of noises in this one like bells and scratched records and heart monitors and stuff, it's very good.
             The last song on this CD is Scarlet Thread, Golden Cord which is another one that sounds like space music, there are sounds in it like chattering aliens. I think this is what we might hear if aliens tried to get in touch with us - I don't think we'd understand them too well. This was a very interesting song and a very good way to end the record.
              Overall I would say that this was a very good, very interesting CD of very strange music but I think people would like it if they listened to it. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Mist - House (Spectrum Spools)
The second CD I am reviewing from the Spectrum Spools label is the CD House by the band Mist. Mist are Sam Goldberg and John Ellliott from Cleveland, Ohio which is in the mid-west of the United States of America. This band use electronic instruments but their music is much faster than Bee Mask's music (see review above) which is very slow.
            The first track on the House CD is called Twin Lanes so I suppose it is about roads and traffic and cars going fast. The music sort of sounds like electronic xylophones being played very fast with slower church organ music in the background, it is very happy sounding music and I like it very much.
            Next is I Can Still Hear Your Voice which made me think of old-fashioned smoky trains leaving the station and heading out from Kings Cross station up north to Scotland. I think it reminds me of trains because of the beat of it being the same as a train's beat. I think this would make very good music for a train film but I don't think they make films about trains any more. I quite like old steam trains and used to enjoy train journeys to Brighton when I was younger, I quite like the new trains too but they're not as good as the old ones. Here is a very good and interesting train film for you to watch that we watched here at The Gate while writing this review. It is an interesting film because it is from 1936 before I was even born and shows the old Royal Mail trains and explains how they worked:

              After I Can Still Hear Your Voice is a song called Mist House which again reminds me of xylophone music. Last year I went to a performance of classical music played on xylophones at the ICA and, on this song, Mist sound very similar to what I heard then. It was a very good performance that I liked very much and I was meant to review it but never got round to it. As well as the xylophone sounds there are lots of other electronic sounds all mixing up which gives you a lot to listen to, there are noises like church organs and rain drops and lots of other lovely noises, it is a very nice track.
               Next up is Daydream which is a lot slower than the other songs and really does sound like music to make you daydream - you could even fall asleep to it, not because it is boring but because it is very sleepy sounding and relaxing and it goes to your head and makes you sleepy.
               Dead Occasion is the next song and this one is much less happy sounding than the other songs have been, It made me think about a load of flowers withering and dying. At the end of the song it gets very loud and noisy and sounds like a ship yard but then suddenly stops dead.
                The next song is called Ovary Stunts so I guess it must be about a woman's womb but I don't know much about women's wombs so I don't know for sure. The music on this one sounds like metal being clanked together and water dripping and other strange noises that mix up well to make quite a danceable tune.
                  The last track is called P.M. and is a long song that lasts thirteen minutes and sounds like a big electronic orchestra because there is so much going on in it. I liked this one very much because there is a lot in it and it changes lots so even though it is very long it never gets boring.
                   Overall I thought this was a very good CD of music that you don't get much of anywhere else. It is happy, exciting music that would probably be nice to listen to if you had just come home from work and were a bit tired because it would perk you up and make you happy. I would give this record 10 out of 10 too.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Matt Finucane - This Mucky Age

Matt Finucane - This Mucky Age (Light Grade)
This time I am reviewing This Mucky Age, an album by Matt Finucane who sent me a copy of his CD to review after he read my review of Ersatz GB by The Fall - I think it's very nice of people to send me things and I appreciate it very much.
        Matt is a singer from Brighton which is a very nice place that I have visited quite a bit and is where one of my favourite films Brighton Rock was filmed. Brighton Rock is a great film about gangsters  from 1947 which stars Richard Attenborough. I first watched this film on television with my mother and father and this would have been some time before 1968 because that was when I moved into Leavesden Hospital. I've always liked this film and play it (and the modern one too) very often. My favourite thing to do in Brighton is to go to a cheap fish and chip shop on the sea front that I forget the name of and then to go to the pier - It's good on the pier because there are loads of rides to go on and a nice pub. It's been a while since I've been to Brighton but I wouldn't mind going again, I think Matt is very lucky to live there and I wish I could live by the sea.
Matt Finucane in his
jeans and black shirt.
               I am reviewing this CD back at the Gate because I am feeling much better now and am walking alright though the doctor told me I can only be on my feet for ten minutes at a time so I still need to use the wheelchair to get places. It's good to be back at the Gate doing things again and seeing all my friends. First song on Matt's CD then is Harder To Care and this is a song played on acoustic guitar with a tabourine backing. I think this song is about a women that Matt has got fed up with being with and so doesn't care about her anymore. Matt's singing voice sounds to me a bit like David Bowie or another one of those glam-rock singers from the early/mid-seventies. I used to like these kinds of singers because they did some very good songs and wore very flashy and quite silly clothes and make up and stuff which used to make me laugh - some people think that men shouldn't wear make-up but I think people should be able to look how they want even if they do look a bit silly. Matt Finucane doesn't look silly though; I've seen some photos on the internet and he was just wearing a normal pair of jeans and a black shirt and looked just like an ordinary bloke.
             Hands Up is next and is a keyboard and electric guitar song a bit like the songs you used to hear on the radio in the eighties. It is a fast song about putting your Hands Up and in it he talks about lots of things like erotica (I think), locks of a woman's hair, trophy shack. He also says "You're just another animal" and i'm not sure what this means but i think it might mean that we come from animals originally so we are still like them a bit especially the apes because man comes from the apes. It is a very good song that i liked very much.
             Next up is Grimm which starts off with a noise like the whistling wind before an acoustic guitar starts and Matt starts singing. I think it is called Grimm because the song is a bit like a fairy tale so it is probably named after the Brothers Grimm. The Brothers Grimm were German brothers from the 1800's who were world famous for telling fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel. The song is like a fairy tale because it talks about going to the trees and being haunted by somebody, I liked this song very much.
              After this is a song called Wet Dream Disaster which is a funny thing to call a song because wet dreams are dreams about sex. I think this is probably the first time I have ever heard a song about wet dreams and I think this is because usually people are embarrassed about them. I reckon it's alright to sing about them though. I liked this song a lot a lot especially where Matt sings "Show me your sex face" over and over, which is a peculiar thing to sing and so made me laugh.
              Degenerate Son is the name of the next song and it begins with a noise like a extra-terrestrial spaceship flying about and then the guitar starts and Matt starts singing. This is a very good, fast song about a son who asks too many questions and is a bit of a bad lad. I think it's alright really for young lads to be a bit degenerate and if I had a son I'd let him do as he liked as long as he didn't get in too much trouble - If he did get in trouble I'd go to court to see him and I would still love him even if he'd done something really horrible because he would be my son, I don't have a son though.
             The next song is called Undertow, it's a slow song played on ordinary (not electric) guitar with lots of strange keyboard and percussion noises in the background and after this is a song called Clumsy about being clumsy. I suppose i'm a bit clumsy especially with my hands because I was born with hands which don't work too well so I drop stuff quite a lot - I never let this bother me though, it's just the way I am and I get by anyway, I liked this song a lot.
           Brown Envelope Man is the next one and it talks about how Matt is being followed by a brown envelope man - I'm not too sure what a brown envelope man but whenever I get a letter in a brown envelope it's usually about my pension or from social services so maybe it's a song about them but I don't really know. The music on this is very good and sounds like a whole band but there are only two people playing on this CD so it is very impressive that there are so many instruments on it. The other musician on the CD, other than Matt, is called Marco Nardini but I don't know anything else about him.
          The next song sounds a bit like a disco song from the eighties because it has keyboards and electronic drums on it, It is a good song and interesting to listen to and after this is a song called Race the Skyline which is another song that sounds like a whole band is playing but a different band from the last one because the instruments are different. I think one of the best things about this CD is there are lots of different songs with different styles of music and instruments - I think Matt must be very talented to be able to play so many instruments; I can't even play a single instrument but I can sing quite well and somebody wrote on another website that I was "The best journalist in the country" so I guess i must be pretty talented too.
            The last song on this CD is called The Trouble with Vampires which reminded me of a song about vampires that Clare, one of my friends from the Gate, did at one of our charity concerts. Here is the video of the song for you to watch:
Matt's vampire song is different from Clare's though because Clare sings about how cool vampires are but Matt thinks vampires are boring but they are probably singing about different kinds of vampires. I think vampires are ok really and I wouldn't mind being one or at least trying it out for a bit and see how it goes. The song is good if a bit strange and I think it is a very good way to end the record.
              Overall i thought this CD was excellent from a very good singer and I was very grateful to get it to review. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.