Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jesus is my son - 1914-1918 ALBUM STREAMING

Brussels, Belgium-based Jesus is my son aka Grégory Duby is one third and wildcard guitarist of the seminal K-Branding, which I praised the album "Alliance" earlier this year, will release his second full length February 22, 2012, and you can pre-order it on the FF HHH label web site.
A surprisingly sparse and introvert affair, just a guitar, no effects added, full and warm sounding, in a melancholic mood. The sense of pace is rather extraordinary and there is not a note too many. Excellent soundtrack for winter time.
Listen to the whole thing below, something of a Xmas gift from Jesus is my son.
Spooky isn't it?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow (2011) REVIEW

Kate Bush is an icon and icons are meant to be destroyed. There is something about her which is similar to The Beatles or David Bowie before her, something that makes people lose any sense of criticism, like falling thoughtless into commonplaces, even if they ain't fans at all. As with the fake rebellious attitude of The Beatles, the calculated multiple impersonations and disguises of David Bowie, Kate Bush is just eccentric enough not to disturb rather conservative audiences for which the same eccentricities is a sign of accepted originality, and not conservative/easy listenable enough to please at the same time more demanding listeners. And she is only half-heartedly experimental and has continuously flirted with the charts. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, it's maybe more the somewhat built-up artist aura versus pop singer which, honestly, regularly disturbed me, it seems very much orchestrated, artificial, and there's always the risk of dissipation, the focus being a bit all over the place and not only on the music itself. David Bowie before her, and Björk after her have never succeeded to record a completely satisfying album, even though more than one of them are more than respectable, I leave you the choice. The same is to be said for Kate Bush, albums like "The Dreaming" (1982) and "Hounds of Love"(1985) are among her best but they can not, at least in my book (remember, this is just my opinion), be considered masterpieces, nor classics. Besides, she was discovered by David 'Money' Gilmour, so she can not be that fan-tastic.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


If we do know that many hip hop artists are influenced by jazz, guys like A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Flying Lotus, The Roots or Outkast, it is less known by a relatively wide audience that some jazz artists are influenced by hip hop, Miles Davis back in the eighties already, then Steve Coleman but also Medeski, Martin & Wood, or lately at least two among the most interesting pianists Craig Taborn and Matthew Shipp. Nevertheless, this young Canadian trio BADBADNOTGOOD, this guys are around 20 year old, takes hip hop from the inside out, I mean, the music that's relevant to them is hip hop, so they have decided to cover old and new hip hop tracks in a similar manner as more traditional jazz musicians are reinterpreting jazz bebop to hard bop or even pop/rock standards. These guys are giving jazz the possibility  to appeal a much younger audience compared to most contemporary jazz which is marketed for an adult one, and it's always a good thing : jazz is still pretty much alive, for sure. Besides, BADBADNOTGOOD collaborated with Odd Future's frontman Tyler, The Creator. Swag! Check this out.

A very interesting and surprisingly enjoyable album full of tough hip hop beats played live and some pretty inspired solos by both keyboards and electric bass. You can find here reinterpretations of "Mass Appeal" by Gang Starr, "The World is Yours" by Nas, "Camel" by Flying Lotus, "Fall in Love" by Slum Village and even "Transmission" by Joy Division (that's no hip hop, spooky), without forgetting the long medley "Title Theme/Saria's Song/Song of Storms" from Nintendo 64 video game "The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time", for the ones who know it, not my case. The album is downloadable for free and with the blessing of the band here.

In between time, these chaps have issued a live album which you may also stream and free download on their bandcamp page. Such generosity is very much appreciated.

Red Horse - Red Horse ALBUM STREAMING

Noise, rock, improv, jazz, experimental, industrial, whatever project of drummer/multi-percussionist Eli Keszler and guitarist/home-made instruments inventor Steve Pyne. This is Red Horse's second album, released via Type Records, both albums have the same title/no title, beware! Very interesting take on noise improvisation with a punk spirit not too often heard in the so-called avant-garde. The sound is excellent and very detailed, it makes you feel like sitting inside the belly of a huge machinery gone slightly off-kilter. Concerning the musical process, the closest comparison could be Supersilent's first triple album, simply called "1-3", Red Horse shares with the mighty Norwegians a rather similar attractiveness, minus the obvious jazz influence, Red Horse is somewhat closer to post-rock or something. Special mention for "Part Two" particularly impressive, real instant composition, and it's near impossible to get how they succeed to produce those impossible sounds.

Red Horse - Red Horse by _type

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Clams Casino - Instrumentals ALBUM STREAMING

Well sought after hiphop producer Clams Casino (real name Mike Volpe) has worked for superstar rappers Lil B and Soulja Boy but he mostly enjoys vocal-less works. The richness of his unique sound palette offers an interesting journey through earth-shattering soundscapes. These songs are essentially sample-based loops, for example "Illest Alive" is a slicing and dicing of Björk's "Bachelorette" and it was revealed during an interview with Pitchfork that "Realist Alive" is a slowed and slurred version of Adele's "Hometown Glory".

This album was first called "Instrumental Mixtape" and was self-released, now it is just called "Instrumentals" and it has find a home on the excellent
Type Records, the label that released the masterpiece "Owl Splinters" by Deaf Center. Spooking stream the whole album below and pay a visit to Type Records if you're not afraid of adventurous music.

Skeletons - People (2011) REVIEW

"No matter how bad it gets, you are still with us, you are still with us. No matter how weird it feels, feelings are real, we are all just people." are the first verses slightly gospel sounding on some church organ on the closing title track of Skeletons' last album aptly named "People", and it gets bad, real bad, lyrically, and it gets quite weird indeed, musically. The weirdness of the music is nothing new on Skeletons' already sixth album, released via Shinkoyo/Crammed Discs, the slight surprise comes from the very lyrics-centered particularly social conscious content of the album. Words generally don't attract my attention in music except if the performer especially underlines them one way or the other, and there are no specific rules to achieve this in my book. But there is something in frontman Matthew Mehlan gentle, soft-spoken, near whispered voice which just makes me listen with more attention, just like he would confide his doubts and thoughts and tales right into my ears and into my consciousness. With that closing track, Matthew Mehlan is trying to console the listeners after a serial of grizzly real-life events narrated in the details during the previous songs, but he comes out unconvincing because he's trying to convince himself, repeating a mantra that makes him, and the listener too, feel, yes, consoled. A very human thing to do, "we are all just people".