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.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hey Colossus - RRR

Hey Colossus - RRR (Riot Season)
This record is by the Hey Colossus band and there were only 250 copies made of the record all painted differently. Hey Colossus are from London and make noisy rock music with loads of guitars and heavy drumming and lots of screaming and shouting.
         The record starts off with slow guitars and screaming ghostly voices like from a horror film, this first track ends with some talking and then goes into the next song which sounds like they are swinging the guitars around their heads and banging them on the floor - it is a much louder track with more drumming and reminds me of a noisier Black Sabbath. The next song slows down a bit and has vocals which reminds me of witch-doctors making spells. Next song starts up with sounds like kids in nursery messing round then there's guitars and a lot of noisy feedback which sounds like a very very windy day and then the drums start banging and there are dark voices screaming ARRRRRRRRGGGHHHHH ARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHH and the guitars get louder before they all wind up very noisy but then calm down at the end.
          First song on the second side is called Almeria, Spain but doesn't sound too Spanish it just sounds like noisy electric guitars but that's good. I have been to Spain, I liked it very much because it's nice and hot over there and we saw models made of sand and the beaches were lovely. The next song does sound a bit more Spanish as it starts with a guitar which sounds like a Spanish church bell and a deep voice which sounds like somebody praying and another voice which sounds like somebody dying. The song is very slow and lasts eight minutes long which is very long but I like it very much. The closing song is faster and has talking in it and what sounds like a priest in the background and then lots of loud guitars come in - it is a good way to finish the record.
          Overall I think this was very good record by a brilliant band and I would give it ten out of ten.

Edit: Peter in his I Am Bunga Bunga T-Shirt - A present from Riot Season: