Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Excessive Visage - HFBK Sessions

This time I am reviewing a CD from a band from Berlin and Dresden in Germany called Excessive Visage. Excessive visage sounds a bit like a heavy metal band name but Excessive Visage are not a heavy metal band because they play very nice rock reggae music and have a woman singer with a soft voice. Excessive Visage sent me the CD because they had read my reviews and asked if I would do a review for them which I am very pleased about. 
             The first song of the four on this CD is called Canis Minor and this has nothing to do with cannabis because I looked it up and it means "Little Dog" and it is the name of a constellation of stars so this a song about the stars and not a song about drugs. The song starts off with guitar that reminds me of the theme tune for the film The Frightened City which I saw in 1961 at the cinema. We looked for the theme tune for this film so we could put it here but all we found was the full film so here it is:
          After the guitar which sounds a bit like the guitar in this film the singing starts - the singer is called Larrisa Blau and has a lovely voice which I think sounds a bit like Amy Winehouse's voice. I liked this song a lot especially the bit where all the instruments go a bit wild then goes back to normal; there is lots to listen to in this song because it changes a lot.
          The next song is called Ohne Bibel which means without bible in German (we asked Seb who worked here what it meant because Seb is a German). Ohne Bibel is different from the last song because it sounds more like a punk rock song where Canis Minor was mostly a softer type of song. It is a very good song which doesn't really sound like music i've heard before and I liked it a lot.
          The song after this is called Surface Distortion and it starts off with drums and an electric guitar solo that I liked a lot because it reminded me of sixties guitar groups like The Who who I like a lot. After the guitar solo the singer starts to sing about kissing dead remains and how people are poor - I think it might be an angry song about things being bad in the world. I think there are lots of bad things in the world like crime and people with no place to go who have to beg for money and I wish things were better and that all people were happy in life but unfortunately that's not the way it is so I think we should all help people. I liked this song because it made think of important things.
             The last song on this CD is an instrumental so it doesn't have any words. Instead of words there is lots of very well played electric guitar which I liked a lot and I thought it was a nice way of finishing the CD off.
              Overall I would say that this was a very good CD from a very good, very interesting band and I liked it very much. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Alpha & Omega meets Dan I - Blessed Are The Poor

Alpha & Omega meets Dan I - Blessed Are The Poor (Alpha & Omega)
This time I am reviewing a cd by Alpha & Omega with Dan I called Blessed are the Poor - I was sent the cd after Dan I saw another Alpha & Omega review that I did and liked it so asked if I would review his new release that he had done with them. I think it is very nice of him to send me his cd and I'm going to enjoy reviewing it very much.
           Dan I is a reggae singer from Italy who usually sings with an Italian reggae band called Imperial Sound Army but on this cd he is singing with Alpha & Omega instead. I think Dan I is a Rasta because he looks like he might be one - I don't know much about Rastas except that they are a religious group originally from Jamaica and they have dreadlocks and they sometimes wear big orange and green and black wool hats and they smoke hash as part of their religion. Because I didn't know much about it I looked it up and I found out that they started up in the 1930's and that they believe that Haile Selassie from Ethiopia was Jesus Christ reborn again and that mankind all comes from Africa. I think it is true that everybody came from Africa because this is well known from history that the first people years back were all from Africa and then moved all over the world. On this cd Dan I talks a lot about Rastafarian things so I will try and talk a bit more about them in this review.
            The first song on the cd is called Blessed are the Poor and in it Dan I sings about religion and how poor people and peacemakers are blessed by Jah which is what Rasta's call God. I like poor people too because I am one and most of the people I know are poor too and we are all nice people - I think rich people can be alright too but sometimes they can be biased against common poor people; biased means they don't like poor people because they are a bit snobbish towards them and look down on them which isn't very nice. The singing sounds good on the nice, mellow electronic reggae music by Alpha & Omega which has a nice sounding instrument on it called a melodica. I have seen people playing melodicas before in the street in the West End and I think it is a nice instrument to listen to even if it looks funny because it is a piano that you blow into - Here is a video from 1986 of another reggae man Augustus Pablo who also plays the melodica so you can hear how nice it is:

            Next track after Blessed are the Poor is Blessed Dub which is a Dub version which means it is a remake with less vocals and other bits added, every song on this CD has a dub version too and I think this is a good idea because it's good to listen to the different version of the songs.
            The next song is called Jah Arise so it is another Rasta song about God, it is a nice song and Dan I sings it very well but I don't understand it too much because I'm not a Rasta but I would like to learn more about being a Rasta so I will listen to it more -  I think it is interesting that this is religious music because the religious music I am used to is hymns at church and these songs are much better than hymns at church because they are funkier and you can dance to them.
A miserable lion in Regents Park Zoo.
           After the dub version of Jah Arise which is also very nice there is a song called Roaring Lion where Dan I sings about a lion conquering the world - I think this is another Rasta thing and he is saying that Rasta's are strong like lions; I once saw a lion in a cage at Regents Park zoo but I didn't like it being in the cage and I think all lions should be let free in the jungle to do as they like. The music on this one is very good again and pleasant to listen to - I think this because it is such relaxed music that it is so pleasant sounding.
           The next full song is called Prophecy and I really like the bass on this because it is big and funky  and makes you want to bob your head. I didn't know what a prophecy was and so Arlo (who helps me with these reviews) told me it was a bit like looking into the future - I think the future will be the same as now really but maybe with a few changes, I hope in the future that there will be less fighting and less  crime and more happiness for people, maybe Dan I would want these things too. I liked the dub version of this one a lot because the music is so good it is nice to listen to it on it's own.
          Next up is called Call On Jah Name so it is another song about God because Jah is the Rasta name for God. This song has more melodica on it and is very interesting to listen to and I really liked it.
          The next song is High Sight and I think this about smoking cannabis and getting high in the mind because that is what Rasta's do. There are a lot of reggae songs about smoking cannabis and I think this is okay even though cannabis is illegal because I don't think it really hurts anyone and if people want to do it they should be allowed.
          After the dub version of this one is a song called Jah is Near and is so is another song about God and after this and it's dub is the last song which is called Time to Know which is another religious song and I think it's telling people that they should think about religion, I think all these songs have helped me to think about religion and I have learnt a lot about the Rasta religion so I have liked doing this review. I don't think I could be a Rasta though because my hair is cut too short and because I am Church of England but I think it's ok to have all different religions as long as they don't fight and try to get along. Overall I think this is a very good and very happy sounding CD and I am glad that Dan I sent it to me. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.