maandag 30 april 2018

Boarding House Reach. Jack White

The story on the writing of this album is a bit odd, the cover somewhat disconcerting and the music said to be weird; if I was to believe the media. And that was all before I had heard a single note. Last week I bought the cd, yes, it was very neatly priced on #RSD18. So I decided to emerge myself in Boarding House Reach, to find out whether I would be confronted with a 'Metal Machine Music' or 'Kid A' kind of album or with an album that, with some stamina, would prove to be another fine solo album by Jack White.

So Jack White hired an apartment, set up gear that limited his options considerably, just like he had as a teenager and recorded the basis of the songs he wrote in the apartment. The result, after a lot of workovers, is released as Boarding House Reach.

The beginning of the album, 'Connected By Love', starts with a fairly strange noise but turns out to be a fine song in the now quite familiar Jack White style. Some rock, a little country, some alternative rock for good measure and a great organ solo. The chorus is well worked out with different voices joining White in a, near, vocal, gospel like battle. The slow down to a piano vocal is a tell-tale sign things may be different from usual.

The next song is much slower. 'Why Walk A Dog?' is a song with a totally familiar structure. It's the uncharacteristic emptiness and the slight treatment of Jack White's voice that give it a somewhat eerie atmosphere. The heavily distorted solo guitar throws in a killing sound. There's nothing much wrong with this song.

The funk comes in with 'Corporation'. It includes a Zappa circa 1973 instrumental sequence combined with 'Superstition' keyboards and dance drums. 'Corporation' is different from what we're used to. In Jack White and in general. The female vocals in "who's with me?" give the song a distinct funky, disco flavour. Sly Stone or Prince is not far away here in feel. The music is allowed to go a long way but not all out. The scream takes care of that. Overall 'Corporation' is too strange to be truly danceable. Funky, yes.

'Hypermisophoniac' is where things get weird. Strangely enough it is extremely easy to imagine a White Stripes song here. Despite the fact that there are some jazzy elements, this is a The White Stripes song laid out on a very strange bed. 'Ice Station Zebra', I faintly remember a book I may have read long ago, hip hop elements come by, as does Prince. That typical way of singing Prince could apply. The keyboards and piano also give the tune a jazzy flavour. So here is an overarching theme occurring. Jazz. Is that what makes Boarding House Reach so a-typical?

'Over And Over And Over' starts out with a cool riff on a loud guitar. Things get weird in the "over and over" part. This "chorus", end of a verse is a better description, is sang in a strange way, giving the song a strange feel. Some other weird shit takes place in the instrumental part as well. There is simply no rule in the song. Anything goes and was tried out. Probably a lot of ideas were discarded before the song took on this definite shape. It may well be the only rule for Boarding House Reach: there were no rules, except when something did not work. Just listen to 'Everything You've Ever Learned'. No one thinks up such a sequence in a song if there had been rules. 'Respect Commander' takes even more turns in the intro. Out of the chaos something may rise or fall. It comes as it goes.

By now you should have gotten the gist of this album. Only an arrivé artist can afford to come up with an experimental album like this. It seems even Jack White had doubts whether to release the album as is. He did and that takes courage. I can't say I like all I'm hearing but as a whole this certainly is a nice addition to his now three album solo career. There's no guessing what he will come up next. It seems there's a new The Raconteurs album in the making. Let's see and be patient.

Wo.

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

zondag 29 april 2018

Brazil. JFDR

Jófríður Ákadóttir is pas 22, maar timmert al een flink aantal jaren aan de weg in de IJslandse muziekscene. De IJslandse muzikante deed dit onder andere met haar band Samaris en met het duo Pascal Pinon, dat ze vormde met haar tweelingzus Ásthildur Ákadóttir.
 
Voor haar nieuwe soloproject koos Jófríður Ákadóttir niet voor haar eigen naam, maar voor het alter ego JFDR, waar natuurlijk wel iets voor te zeggen valt met zo’n ingewikkelde naam.
 
JFDR’s debuut Brazil verscheen al begin 2017, maar ik heb het solodebuut van Jófríður Ákadóttir uit een obscuur maar bijzonder jaarlijstje geplukt.
 
Op Brazil maakt de IJslandse muzikante het de luisteraar zeker niet makkelijk, maar als je eenmaal in de stemming bent voor de bijzondere muziek van JFDR is het muziek die je mee kan voeren naar een compleet ander muzikaal universum.
 
Brazil staat vol met atmosferische soundscapes die worden aangevuld met bijzonder fraaie gitaarlijnen, zweverige synths en subtiele ritmes. Het zijn klanken die uitnodigen tot wegdromen, maar de muziek van JFDR is ook buitengewoon spannend en avontuurlijk. Het is muziek die complex in elkaar steekt en is opgebouwd uit meerdere lagen, maar heel ontoegankelijk zijn de klanken van JFDR niet.
 
De zweverige en vaak wat sprookjesachtig aandoende klanken worden op Brazil gecombineerd met de mooie en heldere stem van Jófríður Ákadóttir, die past in het rijtje van de IJslandse ijsprinsessen dat nog altijd wordt aangevoerd door Björk.
 
Brazil is zoals gezegd een plaat waarbij het heerlijk wegdromen is, maar de muziek van JFDR komt het best tot zijn recht wanneer je de vele lagen waaruit de muziek van de IJslandse muzikante bestaat probeert te ontrafelen. Dan hoor je hoe subtiel en trefzeker de individuele bijdragen zijn en hoe alle individuele klanken bijdragen aan het zo bijzondere geheel.
 
Wat op het eerste gehoor nog enigszins experimenteel en ongrijpbaar is, wordt langzaam maar zeker een bedwelmend en bezwerend klankentapijt, waaraan je je alleen maar over wilt geven. Zowel de instrumentatie als de zang op Brazil zijn subtiel en zeer breekbaar, maar het geheel dat ontstaat is uitermate krachtig.
 
Zeker bij beluistering met de koptelefoon hoor je hoe mooi de plaat is. Synths gaan naadloos over in werkelijk prachtige gitaarlijnen, de zang is zo helder als een beekje in de IJslandse natuur, de atmosferische klanken zijn van een bijna onwerkelijke schoonheid en de songs van JFDR blijven maar aan kracht en verbeelding winnen.
 
Bij snelle beluistering vervliegt Brazil van JFDR snel en vrijwel volledig, maar wanneer je net wat meer energie steekt in het ontdekken van deze bijzondere plaat, komt de bijzondere en intieme schoonheid steeds nadrukkelijker aan de oppervlakte.
 
In het enorme aanbod van het moment is Brazil van JFDR een wat vreemde eend in de bijt, maar het is een vreemde eend met bijzondere kleuren en vormen, die je na een paar keer horen echt niet meer wilt missen. Buitengewoon fascinerende plaat van deze pas 22 jaar oude IJslandse muzikante.

Erwin Zijleman

Je kunt Brazil hier beluisteren en kopen:


https://jfdr.bandcamp.com/releases


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

zaterdag 28 april 2018

KYD. AWKWARD i

Ik heb tot dusver een wat wispelturige relatie met de muziek van AWKWARD i.
 
Het alter ego van de ook van Alamo Race Track bekende Djurre de Haan imponeerde op zijn debuut I Really Should Whisper uit 2009 met betoverend mooie indie folksongs, die zich ergens tussen Fleet Foxes, Elliott Smith, The Beatles, The Low Anthem en Grandaddy in wurmden.
 
Het zijn vijf namen die ik moeiteloos had kunnen vervangen door vijf andere grote namen uit de geschiedenis van de popmuziek, maar uiteindelijk verdiende AWKWARD i vooral haar eigen plekje met songs die nadrukkelijk een eigen weg zochten en die stuk voor stuk van een bijzondere schoonheid waren.

Twee jaar later verscheen Everything On Wheels dat nadrukkelijk voortborduurde op het debuut van de band, maar op één of andere manier lang niet zoveel met me deed. Ook de tweede plaat van AWKWARD i stond vol met mooie en eigenzinnige popliedjes, maar voor mij ontbrak de magie die het debuut van de band zo bijzonder had gemaakt. Magie is iets vaags en persoonlijks, maar toen ik Everything On Wheels eerder deze week opnieuw beluisterde, miste ik nog steeds iets dat ik wel hoorde op het debuut van de band en dat ik gelukkig ook hoor op het recent verschenen KYD.
 
Ook KYD roept weer herinneringen op aan de platen van meerdere groten uit de geschiedenis van de popmuziek. Het bovenstaande lijstje voldoet nog steeds heel aardig, al wil ik Fleet Foxes dit keer vervangen door The Beach Boys en laat ik de briljante popliedjes van The Beatles maar eens vervangen door die van Ron Sexsmith. Op hetzelfde moment doe je de bijzondere muziek van AWKWARD i met het noemen van namen bijna altijd te kort.

AWKWARD i gaat op KYD nog een stapje verder dan op haar vorige platen en maakt indruk met veelkleurige popliedjes die soms nog wel in het hokje indie-folk passen, maar ook continu hun uiterste best doen om uit dit hokje te breken. En dat lukt AWKWARD i keer op keer met speels gemak.
 
KYD staat vol met prachtig ingekleurde en over het algemeen intiem en ingetogen openende songs, die vervolgens snel aan kleur en kracht winnen. Waar ik Everything On Wheels met grote regelmaat net wat te groots of juist wat te gewoontjes vond klinken, is KYD een plaat die je twaalf songs en drie kwartier lang bij de les houdt en in vervoering brengt.
 
AWKWARD i kan hierbij betoveren met een groots geluid waar The Arcade Fire jaloers op mag zijn, maar kiest net zo makkelijk voor de melancholie die de platen van Elliott Smith zo mooi en indrukwekkend maakte of juist voor een randje lo-fi, wat de muziek van de band van Djurre de Haan iets stekeligs en eigenzinnigs geeft.
 
Vergeleken met het debuut van de band is KYD rijk georkestreerd met hier en daar flink wat strijkers, maar het laagje glans dat op de songs is aangebracht is in alle gevallen functioneel en trefzeker. Het is bovendien glans die wordt gecontrasteerd door het grillige karakter van de muziek van AWKWARD i en het is dit grillige karakter dat KYD de hele speelduur spannend houdt. KYD is ook nog eens een plaat vol ruwe emoties en songs die zowel over nieuw leven als over de dood gaan. Het geeft de plaat nog net wat meer diepgang en urgentie.
 
De vorige plaat van AWKWARD i deed me op een of andere manier niet zoveel, maar KYD was na één keer horen al een plaat om te koesteren en is sindsdien alleen maar mooier, imponerender en spannender geworden. Kom op Pitchfork, pak KYD op en geef AWKWARD i het wereldwijde podium dat Djurre de Haan absoluut verdient met deze bijzondere en bloedstollend mooie plaat.

Erwin Zijleman


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

vrijdag 27 april 2018

Full Tilt Boogie. James Scott Bullard

In 2016 I wrote a review of the EP 'Box Of Letters' by James Scott Bullard and the Late Night Sweethearts. A band that I had never heard music from before. It was just a name I had ran into once, because of the label. The post invoked a response from Bullard:

""Netherlands based review of the E.P. ...Not bad at all, but the person who wrote it is damn near a prophet!!! ...Without speaking to me, the label, or my manager personally, they 110% predicted that the E.P. was a departure from my 'softer' side and (without hearing a note of it) that the forthcoming full length record takes a definitive darker, grittier turn at the wheel...No official release date set on that yet, but hang tight folks, you're in for a treat!""

I do not know about being a prophet, though it does seem you are about to find out about that treat, as that release date is finally upon us all: 27 April 2018. This may have been a bit longer than Bullard had hoped for at the time, but the waiting was worth it. Double and then some.

Let's start with the cover. The hippie age has reached the Carolinas it seems. It is in a way provocative but at the same time holds a tongue in cheek element as well, by depicting Bullard in a not too serious drawing. The cover can also be seen as a warning: expect the unexpected. The title in the right hand corner is nothing but a statement, full disclosure. Brace yourself to rock!

And does Full Tilt Boogie? You are about to find out. The very first chords are deep, dark, heavy set guitar chords strummed full on. "Lord, have mercy on me", Bullard sings. Well it seems his prayer has been heard, as this song really rocks out. Shining a light of providence over it all. The deep, dark accents of the distorted guitar paves the way for a fiery slide guitar solo and a warm sounding Hammond organ, placing some fine accents in the deeper layers of the sound.

'Lord Have Mercy', is only the kick off of the album. The boogie really starts in the second song. 'Wicked Ways', no, it's not a cover of the Waylon song (who released a country rock album last week, I haven't had the chance to listen to yet), is full tilt boogie to the max. A rollicking, whopping kind of song as if riding a horse at full speed across the desert. A song about a son living the life his dad lived, against all the warnings of his dear mother. If James Scott Bullard's wicked ways lead to songs like this, there's no need for forgiveness. The lord already has shown his mercy, James. A song like this does nothing then bring huge smiles to the faces of the people listening to it, bringing happiness and joy. If I could write and play songs like these, I wouldn't give those ways up for nothing and nobody, mate.

And that's just where the fun begins. Just listen to that intro of 'All To Pieces'. Something many artist would kill for, and now that would be sinning. Full Tilt Boogie is getting into its groove and is outpacing many albums in its sort I've heard recently as is competing full on with my favourites in the genre. Just listen to that guitar solo going at it. This is as good as the very best songs of The Black Crowes and outpacing anything Lynyrd Skynyrd did in the past 30 years. Better than anything by ZZ Top (o.k., barred 'Tush').

On Full Tilt Boogie a few worlds come together. There certainly is a country/roots element hidden in all the rock. Blues rock comes in strong. Rock and roll takes its part, while the attack of classic rock rears it rocking head. For me its a match made in heaven, to stick to religious metaphors. Bullard chose to make his sound rough and loud. It leads to an album that is made for dancing at shows. Live this has to downright fantastic. Time to come over some time soon, Mr. Bullard. There's a market for your music here.

By using dynamics within the songs and changing the lead instruments between guitar and piano Full Tilt Boogie gets the diversity it deserves and adds another point to the overall score.The only thing a listener has to be afraid of is an overdose of enthusiasm. As it comes in spades on the album.

Yes, there are some easy to spot influences on Full Tilt Boogie. Johnny Cash, some country artists I don't mind not mentioning and even Stevie Ray Vaughan can be spotted here and there in the fiery guitar parts. These influences are only there to tell the story of Full Tilt Boogie and nothing else. To give the album a little extra flavour without giving any of its own unique overtones away. Is it perfect? Perhaps not, but it gets very close. The best in its sort I've heard for years.

Wo.

You can order Full Tilt Boogie here:

https://www.bigmavis.com/discography


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

donderdag 26 april 2018

Die Nerven live with Maple. Amsterdam, Sugar Factory 24 April 2018

Photo: Wo.
Short and intense but sweet the show of Die Nerven was. The band came on stage, kicked up a storm and left in circa 50 minutes leaving behind a storm of feedback. That about sums it up. For a band with several albums to its name a bit longer show might have been an option. It may have been just enough though.

Sugar Factory is not a large venue, yet the number of tickets sold made building a smaller stage in front of the stage a necessity to have the impression of a filled venue. That is not a pleasant sight for a band travelling all the way from Stuttgart to play in Amsterdam (although the previous leg was in Cologne and the next in Groningen). Die Nerven has not conquered The Netherlands as yet.

Maple
Things started with support act Maple. I'm going to be brief here. Although the band had some interesting breaks in the songs and executed them flawlessly, my impression was that Maple is not ready for this type of show. The songs are mostly uninteresting, some Smashing Pumpkins references provided moments of brief recognition, but that is almost all I can tell. And those breaks? They didn't add anything to the actual song. When things went wild in the final song, which at first seemed to remain instrumental, I felt a first moment of hope for the band.

The trio from Stuttgart came on next. The short, soft bass player, the longer, spiky guitarist and the bit wacko, long-haired drummer showed within seconds that Die Nerven is used to playing shows and playing the strings that excite audiences. Except that did not really happen. I never saw those sparks fly that some songs definitely have in them. Whether the band had to hold back due to or because of the seize of the stage or the audience because of the proximity of the stage, I can not tell. Fact is, Die Nerven, mostly, play music that is not only for listening.

Having said that the set played was more than decent with several highlights. One being an forced upon silence of about a minute, which was quite impressive. The sonic storm coming from the guitar another. A less extreme (and loud) A Place To Bury Strangers sound as if the amp is held under water, the sound broken up the waves and dispersed by several currents to reach my ear all warbled. The band is able to play at different moods which come across brilliantly in the mood changes it lays (with)in its songs.

Seeing Die Nerven play for the first time I understand, finally, why I had so much trouble to find out who the singer is: the band has two. Julian Knoth (bass) and Max Rieger (guitar) sing lead alternately. Drummer Kevin Kuhn takes care of enthusiastic shouting in the background. Not everything explains itself in MP3s.

Overall I left Sugar Factory satisfied. The show was short but intensive and Die Nerven a fine band. Perhaps something was bugging them and we received a shorter show because of it. Who knows? What I saw was just fine.

(All photo's by) Wo.

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

woensdag 25 april 2018

Kairos, April 2018 by .No on Concertzender

Kairos is a monthly program on Concertzender that aims at combining music and a state of mind. Some of the music played, can really take the listener off to silent pastures and softly rushing leaves in the trees leading to a tranquil mind. Other songs appear to go against any grain of tranquillity, upsetting the mind in many ways. Despite that impression, any music, the reception of this music and the way it is processed is in the ear and mind of the beholder. So most likely all music can be perceived differently each time someone hears it. Many factors can come into play deciding on acceptation and appreciation of music. Especially if it's new to the listener.

Wo. in general undergoes Kairos at different days, different times during the days and in different mindsets. Today is a sunny afternoon, after having taken a pleasurable walk in (semi-)nature, the enjoyment of a late brunch and listening to Kairos on a pleasantly filled stomach. Let's see where .No's selection of music takes Wo. this month in this relaxed state of mind.

.No's first selection on the show is Minco Eggerman. It can not be long before his 'Kavkasia' album has been played fully on Kairos. 'Deda Ena' is a song in which different musical traditions come together. A western guitar, Middle Eastern singing and a violin that hovers somewhere in between.

The soft song changes into spoken word of a lady speaking English with an accent. Last letters n receive a k after it. Then the lady starts singing, a cappela, in a language I do not understand a word of. The lady is Mariana Sadovki, the recording is by Concertzender itself. An instrument joins her. My best guess that it is some sort of accordion. Emotions fly ever more and reach for the sky. The singing has something eastern, like Rebetika, the music of the deposed Greeks from Turkey. The vocal style is different from how we sing. There seem moments in which her throat sounds strangled, as if pressed hard and released, creating a stop start effect in her singing, sounding quite unnatural. Do I like this? That is the wrong question. Is this impressive? Oh, yes. Several parts of this 7 minute long dirge certainly are.

'Dead Ena' returns with a short fragment, with .No's birds mixed in, over before I know it.

A new piano act enters Kairos. Tibulibena plays 'Endless' a soft piano composition of a kind that could have been a part of a softer or introductory part to a Coldplay song. It is not necessary at all to play a million notes to impress. Tibulitena seems to play as little as possible, yet creates a beautiful, tinkering melody that stops the world in its tracks for a few minutes and makes all trials and tribulations slide away into nothingness.

Another piano, strings added. The world is still on hold. The piano is busier, the strings comfort until it all becomes busier and drops away again. Gian Marco La Serra & Emanuele Dentoni play 'Ascoltari' from a minimal piano album. This music holds some acquaintance to the kind of music I listen to more regularly. The kind of songs that are free flowing, soft and filled with beauty. That is what La Serra and Dentoni offer its listeners in 'Ascoltari'.

From this instrumental tranquillity we move to Iceland. 'Enn Næđa Orđ' by Högni. Högni tires to put some tranquillity into his music, but it is more often scratching the inside of my skull. Weird sounds are woven into the standard instruments. The singing is not easy. Then a dark singing male choir enters the whole and my hunch is that .No is playing with us listeners and mixed something into the music. It is not a 100% fit, yet so close. How do you think up a mash-up like this? By then we have had an 'Interlude' as well that passed me by.


The female voices are easy to spot as something new. The Schwester Hochfünf? What am I to make of that. And how many of them are there? (Seeing the picture and reading the name right, not Hochnünf, I guess my question is answered, Wo.) They are singing a church composition called 'Sicut Lilium'. The voices of the sisters weave in and out of each other. A piano enters and I have to pay attention. A second 'Interlude' by Howard Skempton, with the sound of spring mixed in, is, once again, over before I know it.

Peter Broderick returns to Kairos with 'Atlantic' from his album 'Together Again'. Not to be confused with Emmylou Harris' hit song of the 70s. Again a composition that fits really well with the past few extremely hot days for the time of year. The laziness coming with the heat is a part of this music. Making me feel sleepy, drowsy. Sparse piano notes on a background of droning strings.

An Arabic/Pakistani form of singing comes in. Long held notes in a language that is unknown to me, by a man with a somewhat hoarse voice. To my surprise it is Minco Eggerman's album 'Kavkasia' again. He lets worlds come together in 'Melisma & Gurian'. Georgian music continues with the Rustavi Choir. 'Chona' is a song that is different from what we sing. It may well be an orthodox church song, but who knows? Not me. The soft droning sound somewhat in the back accompanies the singers. At least, it is my perception there are (at least) two, taking turns in singing the story of the traditional 'Chona'.

A tinkering piano takes over. High, extremely clear of sound. Only one note, repeated a few times. And the change to an even higher note. The near highest even, always sounding somewhat awkward. Nils Frahm plays his instrument of choice almost hesitatingly. Do I feel like it today? After a while Frahm decides to give us some full chords, played forté. Only to drop away again. (I nodded off for a few seconds and was awakened again by his harder played notes. That's a new one or Kairos works this afternoon.) I hear some more tinkering on the piano and yes, there is a melody in there, of sorts, but why not make it a fluent exercise? Some parts of 'I Would Like To Think' are more fluent, but this just is not for me. I am not able to make cheese of it.

So we move on to something also somewhat experimental, 'Through The Gloom' by Dmitry Evgrafov'. More sound than song, more a starting of some sort of a progrock outing than anything else. Also over before I really know it and was able to form an opinion.

The slow notes of a guitar étude come by. Somewhat surprised I read Gustaaf Hortence Ledoux as composer and player. Now I know Mr. Ledoux as the somewhat acidic commentator in WoNo Magazines of old, his contribution to the Michael Jackson special is all but legendary, but was totally unaware of his musical skills. Not only is my ignorance tested it is baffled to find out that this small composition is Mr. Ledoux 153rd Prelude. Congratulations esteemed friend!

Another track from the 'The Minimal Piano Series, Volume 1' album, which turns out to be a compilation record. This time Ashot Danielyan comes by with 'Beyond Northwind'. Slow piano notes come by with atmospherics of all sorts hovering in the background. Danielyan is not afraid to let winds blow, waves crash on the beach and sparse guitar notes to accompany him. Tranquil is the mind.


Matteo Myderwyk has not made it to these pages on the basis of his album 'To Move', as it is too far removed from the music I usually have the patience for to listen to. That is compensated by the fact that .No has entered him for the first time on Kairos. 'Mirrors' from 'To Move' fits in perfectly on this episode of Kairos. As I had expected hearing 'To Move' a while back. The slow piano does it all here, with a 'Tubular Bells' like motif. That turns out to be played by Jeroen Elfferich. His 'Fine' can be found on the minimal piano album as well. The pianist tinkers away with an ever repeated motif that slowly changes, but I'm afraid I have heard enough piano by now.

It all ends with a fragment of an album reviewed in the fall of last year on this blog, 'Heiress' by Novo Amor and Ed Tullett. Ali Lacey's high voice softly brings Kairos to an end. The soft, almost jazzy 'Pteryla' is a beautiful song, but the shortness of the fragment does it no right unfortunately. Perhaps some more of it at a later date, Mr. .No?

Wo.

You can listen to this 'Kairos' here:

https://www.concertzender.nl/programma/438133/

This months playlist:

00:13 Minco Eggersman. Deda Ena.
Album ‘Kavkasia. Volkoren 73
02:29 Mariana Sadovska. Widow Song.
Live recording Concertzender. https://www.concertzender.nl/programma/acoustic_roots_435698/.
09:04 Minco Eggersman. Deda Ena (fragment).
Album ‘Kavkasia. Volkoren 73
10:14 Tibulibena. Endless. Tibulibena.
Single ‘Endless’. Tibulibena.
13:21 Gian Marco La Serra & Emanuele Dentoni. Ascoltarsi.
Album ‘The Minimal Piano Series Vol.I’. Blue Spiral Records BSR 015.
16:04 Högni. Enn Næđa Orđ.
Album ‘Two Trains’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP103.
20:21 Howard Skempton. Images: Interlude 5. John Tilbury, piano.
Album ‘Well, well Cornelius’. Sony SK 66482.
20:56 Henk badings. Sicut Lilium. Schwester hochfünf.
Album “Geistliche Vokalmusik a cappella’. Cavalli Records CCD 331. 
Combined with:
Howard Skempton. Images: Interlude 5. John Tilbury, piano.
Album ‘Well, well Cornelius’. Sony SK 66482.
23:54 Howard Skempton. Images: Interlude 5. John Tilbury, piano.
Album ‘Well, well Cornelius’. Sony SK 66482.
24:30 Peter Broderick. Atlantic.
Album ‘Together Again’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP 104.
27:36 Minco Eggersman. Melisma & Gurian.
Album ‘Kavkasia. Volkoren 73
29:18 Anoniem (Trad.). Chona. Hamlet Gonashvili, Rustavi Choir.
Album ‘Hamlet Gonashvili‘. JARO 4191-2.
34:24 Nils Frahm I would like to think.
Album ‘The Bells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP021CD.
39:59 Dmitry Evgrafov. Through the gloom.
Album ‘Comprehension of Light’. FatCat Records CD13-27P.
42:28 Gustaaf Hortense Ledoux. Prelude 153. Gustaaf Hortense Ledoux, guitar.
Private recording.
43:42 Ashot Danielyan. Beyond Northwind.
Album ‘The Minimal Piano Series Vol.I’. Blue Spiral Records BSR 015.
48:54 Matteo Myderwyk. Mirrors.
Album’To Move. Excelsior Recordings
51:25 Jeroen Elfferich. Fine. Album ‘The Minimal Piano Series Vol.I’. Blue Spiral Records BSR 015.
58:42 Novo Amor (Ali Lacey) & Ed Tullett. Pteryla (fragment).
Album ‘Heiress’. All Points.



Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

dinsdag 24 april 2018

Festivals of long ago. A conversation

Three gentlemen went into another discussion a while back. This time on the festivals they went to (or not) quite some time ago. With the festival season having started this month, it seems an appropriate time to post.

Gary, 2-2
Doing a little surfing after thinking about the only Reading Festival I went to which was in ’73…. I got some research help from my good friend Johnny Nicholson and pulled this together to ‘aid my memory'! To be honest a lot of the memories from that exciting time have escaped me, not sure if it was the fact I was a 16 year old on his first festival trip or that old age is catching me up, or that the range of intoxicating substances that were available to me and my friends that were responsible… or maybe a combination of all these factors? By the way £4.40 for entry and getting permission from Mum and dad to go (my little brother was pissed he wasn’t allowed to go!) was a big deal in ’73! 😆

(Then Gary provided a link to a blogpost by DJ Tees, which we cannot reproduce as such here. So here's the link:

https://www.djtees.com/blogs/djtees-blog/reading-festival-1973)

...Oh halcyon days!

Mark, 2-2
Have you got the album? I was thinking of getting it for the Rory Gallagher, Faces and Piledriver-era Status Quo tracks but never got round to it - but will get it one day I expect. 
Just did a quick search and came across this quite informative bloggy account: http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/various-artists-reading-festival-1973.html 

For me, music is a rather intimate, indoor experience and I can't dance in public so I'm not a fan of festivals: nor am I into camping it up in tents so I have never succumbed to 
the whole Glastonbury thing. They seem very commercialised and hyped up now. The last one I went to was that Hop Festival one in deepest Kent with Dylan. The first one I ever 
went to I think was in Holland, Wout, in 1974 ....or thereabouts.......everybody was stoned..... and I can't remember the name of it..... or even who was headlining.

Gary, 2-2
No, surprisingly I never got the album, but if I see it at a record fare I will probably buy it!

I do agree with you about listening to music at home, however when Was in my teens through my twenties, it just had to be done! It is most certainly not something I would contemplate at the grand old age of 61! Although I came close to going to see ELP at the High Voltage Festival ten years back. Also some of my friends go to the Ramblin' Man Festival in Maidstone, so I may do that at some point dependant on lineup? http://www.ramblinmanfair.com . Funnily enough I was at the Hop Farm last night at a meeting! Sadly the company that runs the Hop Farm festival wen’t bust a few years ago…. I think Prince was the last artist there? 

Wo., 3-2
I am trying to remember my first festival, but am just not sure. So I turned to Google. May 1984 was my first. In the early to mid 80s there was a twice yearly live broadcast festival on German television called Rockpalast, staged in the Grugahalle in Essen. Three bands played deep into the night. On one of those nights my friends and I saw Jack Bruce and Friends play and were so impressed. I bought the album straight away, an album I can't really listen to any more I'm afraid. At the time it was fantastic though. Then we found out he would play the Lochem Festival. So we got ourselves tickets, drove to the eastern part of the country in my Mitsubishi Galant and saw him play a great show. I remember Bo Diddley playing as well, not really liking it, because every single song sounded the same and Mink Deville, who was quite alright at the time. I also still like to convince myself that the beautiful redhead sitting in front of us was the star from the Golden Earring video 'When The Lady Smiles'. We didn't dare to ask, shy youngsters as we were.
The reason I wasn't sure which festival came first, was that I also went to the Werchter part of the then touring festival Torhout-Werchter that year (8 July). Now a four day festival just in Werchter. The same friends went to see Lou Reed play. I remember the Simple Minds playing also before Reed, who was supposed to headline, but only managed to play the field empty. Chagrined, sour and extremely monotonous and hampered by bass amp problems. Someone cancelled at the last moment. I can't remember who, but I can't remember having seen Joe Jackson play, another one of my great favourites at the time. I still have a, now severely undersized t-shirt from the 'Body & Soul' tour of 1983. So it may have been him. The replacement was John Hiatt, I'd say, who I had just learned about thanks to a live broadcast I taped fairly recently before this show. David Johansen was quite the showman, I remember. His music was so so.

I have never been a great fan of festivals and have never been to a several days one. Through the years I kept going to one day ones. Here in Haarlem there is the Bevrijdingspop each year on liberation day. Something I have been going to for several years now. And yes, I like to move in public when appropriate. Shows in smaller venues have my preference nowadays, which culminated in the living room concerts my girlfriend and I stage since last year. Magical experiences they are. Five weeks from now the next one takes place. If it wasn't such a long way to travel, I'd say come on over.

Gary, 3-2
Thanks Wout, I am sorely tempted to come! But as you say, its a little way to travel and I have family commitments…. Is it 'bring a bottle’ 😉?

Yes, the first wave of music festivals started to lose their magic in the late 70s with a few exceptions, there were not many I liked the look of during the following decades… of course Live Aid in ’85 was a major exception, followed by the amazing growth of Glastonbury. The early 70s music festival years in the UK were a phenomenon that we will probably never see the like of again?

Commercialism has taken over and I noticed that baby boomers are targeted with 'rock cruises' around the Caribbean… bands like Yes, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, Marillion, Steve Hackett etc… Looks great, but will cost a few $k for the cruise plus flights: http://cruisetotheedge.com

Gary Hunt
Mark Carvell
Wo.

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

maandag 23 april 2018

Record Store Day, Saturday 21 April 2018

All over the world, record stores are celebrating their day: Record Store Day. A day filled with live music in a place where people traditionally come to buy the passive form of music: lps, cds, dvds and the like. On record store day artists come to local stores to play their music live. Having found out that Johan and Tim Knol played in Velvet in Amsterdam, was enough incentive to get up up earlier and take the train to Amsterdam.

The combination of acts was somewhat familiar. The first time I saw Tim Knol live was as support act of Johan, so that must have been in 2009. Now Johan is back at the front after a hiatus of 9 years, while Tim Knol has become a staple musician in The Netherlands who is at a point in his career that he seems able to do what he pleases.

Record Store Day by now is a phenomenon with record companies releasing rarities or extra (expensive) editions of old(er) records, aimed at collectors. Now that are the people who probably were at record stores regularly anyway. Also in the hard years of the 00s. It must be there to draw the people they have lost back to stores. In my surroundings they are not succeeding. Something has changed in the past years. A new generation seems to have discovered record stores, often to buy second records, usually LPs, they must have heard at home when they were a bit younger. I see kids of around twenty looking for The Doors albums and I am a bit jealous of what they are about to find out. That thought is incorrect, I know, because everything is available online nowadays. I never listen to an album anymore in the store to find out whether I want it. I have made that selection at home, often weeks before. For these young adults it will be much the same. Still, I can't help that feeling of them discovering something I have discovered about 40 years ago, when I came home with my The Doors copies.

Photo: Wo.
So my girlfriend and I went to Amsterdam to the Velvet store there and saw Johan setting up its gear. The personnel were youngsters, the audience were mostly between 40 and 60 something. My first Johan show was in 1996 in LVC Leiden and since I have seen at least one show of each tour. The new album, 'Pull Up', is darker but contains such strong songs (read on here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2018/04/pull-up-johan.html), so we were really looking forward to hearing them live, in such a small, in store, environment.

From the get go with single and album opener 'About Time' Johan convinced. In the new setting with guitarist Robin Berlijn on guitar and Jan Teertstra, of Sunday Sun, on keyboards and both on background vocals, Jacob, Jan and Diets have found a great replacement for the two who did not come back. Both the brighter as the darker songs came by and showed the depth Johan has reached in its new music. If something showed also, it was the pleasure the five men had at playing these songs together. Giving it their all in a clear drive to succeed and reclaim the title of best Dutch indie-pop-rock band. Ever, with Bettie Serveert, the other band with a right claim to that title.

I got home with my, already two week old copy of the LP, signed by all members. A small extra that a day like this can provide.

Some sad news also. I found out talking to Jan Teertstra that Sunday Sun is on indefinite hiatus. Now I'll admit here that I did not like the band's third album, so you did not find a review on these pages. I was sure though that the fourth might have been a good one. Come on, gentlemen, shall we say a new album in 2020? I'm sure it will be a very nice one.

Photo: Wo.
Tim Knol took the stage early, playing "his only acoustic show of the year", and just was his charming self. Conversing with the audience, telling relevant and irrelevant stories, playing a few great songs of his latest album 'Cut The Wire' (read my review here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2018/01/cut-wire-tim-knol.html). In an acoustic version they sound different of course, yet very familiar. This setting made clear to me what a fine folk guitarist Knol is. All these little melody bass runs while the rhythm just keeps going. Yes, I was a bit in awe.

'Cut The Wire' is only three months old, yet Tim Knol is already looking ahead and working on a blue grass album and gave us the pleasure of playing a few of the songs he's already written for that album. Something to look out for it seems. As I wrote Knol is in a place that he makes his own choices and not really plans a career (any more). He started out with ravings about the Dutch Neil Young, thank you Matthijs van Nieuwkerk. Tim Knol does seem to like the sort of career Dinosaur Sr. has. Record what you feel like today and take it from there.

Be sure to find me somewhere during the fall tour he announced on stage. I sure like to hear some of the new songs in a band setting. When asking for a request, of course I'd say, 'Sam' was called for, with a direct "no" said loudly behind me from one of the ladies present. No matter what an artist, even one still fairly early on in his career, releases, people always want to hear one or two songs. I am simply stuck for titles these days. They just don't stick, so I never can shout the one I would want to hear.

RSD18 was a success. For a few reasons. Velvet sold several Johan units for sure. People were buying stuff. Hey, even my girlfriend bought a cd for the first time in something like 15 years. More in general I saw people walking with the special RSD18 bag in town, at the train station, in Leiden later that day. Having artist in store is a good asset to the day. Something more attractive to me personally than the special releases, which I do not really care for. I came home with several second hand copies of albums I did not have from the late 60s and early 70s and the new Jack White that was priced very nicely for the day. Watch out for that review soon.

Wo.

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

zondag 22 april 2018

Purgatory. Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers werd geboren in de Appalachen en kreeg de traditionele Amerikaanse folk- en countrymuziek met de paplepel ingegoten.
 
Vorig jaar werd de muzikant uit Kentucky in de Verenigde Staten geschaard onder de meest veelbelovende nieuwkomers en in 2018 moet Tyler Childers ook Europa aan zijn zegekar gaan binden.
 
Purgatory, het in de zomer van 2017 verschenen debuut van Tyler Childers, kreeg in januari een Nederlandse release en ik begrijp nu waarom ik de plaat in zoveel Amerikaanse jaarlijstjes tegen kwam.
 
Purgatory werd geproduceerd door niemand minder dan Sturgill Simpson en met Sturgill Simpson hebben we direct ook relevant vergelijkingsmateriaal in handen. Ook Tyler Childers laat zich nadrukkelijk beïnvloeden door de Amerikaanse Outlaw countrymuziek uit de jaren 70, maar ook de traditionele folk en country die hij tijdens zijn jeugd leerde waarderen heeft een plekje gekregen in de muziek van de Amerikaan.
 
Purgatory laat een wat traditioneel aandoend countrygeluid horen en het is een geluid waarin met name de viool de hoofdrol opeist. De combinatie van deze viool met gitaren, banjo, mandoline en pedal steel levert een vol maar ook ruimtelijk geluid op. Het is een geluid waarin ruimte is voor muzikaal vuurwerk, maar het is ook een geluid dat uiteindelijk in dienst staat van de stem van Tyler Childers, die is voorzien van een aangenaam rauwe strot.
 
Om van Purgatory te kunnen genieten moet je bestand zijn tegen een flinke dosis traditionele Amerikaanse country, maar als je dit bent is het debuut van Tyler Childers een plaat die snel naar grote hoogten groeit.
 
Net als de songs van de al eerder genoemde Sturgill Simpson en de songs van tijdgenoten als Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Brent Cobb, Corb Lund en in iets mindere mate Jason Isbell, klinken de songs van Tyler Childers volstrekt tijdloos. Purgatory had met enige fantasie ook 45 jaar geleden gemaakt kunnen worden, maar desondanks klinkt het debuut van de muzikant uit Lexington, Kentucky, geen moment gedateerd.
 
Vergeleken met platen uit de jaren 70 verwerkt Tyler Childers overigens wel meer invloeden in zijn muziek, want naast invloeden uit de country en de folk, laat Purgatory ook invloeden uit onder andere de rock ’n roll en de western Swing horen.
 
Het meest verslavend aan Purgatory vind ik persoonlijk de aangename flow die de plaat heeft. Laat Purgatory uit de speakers komen en je wordt bijna 40 minuten vastgehouden door de bijzondere songs van de jonge Amerikaan, die aan de hand van Sturgill Simpson en een aantal geweldige muzikanten ook nog eens een fantastisch klinkende plaat heeft gemaakt en een plaat die vol staat met prachtige verhalen over het leven op het Amerikaanse platteland.
 
In de Verenigde Staten zoals gezegd vorig jaar al een jaarlijstjesplaat, voor mij een van de eerste sensaties van het prille muziekjaar 2018.

Erwin Zijleman

Je kunt Purgatory hier beluisteren en kopen:

https://ttchilders.bandcamp.com/releases



Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

zaterdag 21 april 2018

Air Traffic live. Tivoli, Utrecht, Dinsdag 17 april 2018

Foto: HsreD
Waar een vakantieliefde al niet goed voor kan zijn. Stomverbaasd was ze, de Vlaamse schone, dat ik als zelfverklaard indierockliefhebber nog nooit van de band Air Traffic had gehoord. Terwijl ik haar tijdens de twee weken safari in Zuid Afrika bijkans de ipod uit de oren rukte om steeds maar weer het nummer Shooting Star te horen. De heren van Air Traffic waren in 2012 in Vlaanderen al jaren erg groot, onder andere als gevolg van een invalbeurt op Rock Werchter, waar ze overigens later dit jaar weer spelen.
 
Een van de mooiste muziekverhalen van het moment. In augustus 2010 kondigt Air Traffic aan dat het voor onbepaalde tijd pauzeert. In oktober 2017 laten de Britten via social media weten dat ze de 10de verjaardag van hun enige album ‘Fractured Life’ (2007) willen vieren met een kleine tournee. De vier zijn intussen uit de muziek gestapt en hebben kantoorjobs. Tot verrassing van velen verkoopt Air Traffic drie keer Het Depot in Leuven uit. De herinnering aan de makers van hits als ‘Charlotte’ en ‘Shooting Star’ was dus zeer warm gebleven. De groep stamt uit Bournemouth - waar ze naast het vliegveld repeteerden - en bracht/brengt indiepop met een hoofdrol voor de piano. Bassist Jim Maddock liet na de Leuvense triple weten dat hij graag nog eens op Rock Werchter wou spelen. Zoals in 2007 en 2008. Dat tweede jaar speelden ze trouwens een tweede keer als vervanger van Babyshambles. Welkom in de droomfabriek, gentlemen!” (bron: www.rockwerchter.be) 

Foto: HareD
Hun roem is in Nederland nooit zo hoog gestegen. Een paar maanden geleden speelden ze in Paradiso Noord en de afsluitende gig van hun korte Europese tour bracht ze naar een lang niet geheel gevulde Pandora in TivoliVredenburg. Toch een overgang na onder andere twee uitverkochte concerten in het roemruchte Brusselse Ancienne Belgique.

Dat mocht de pret echter niet drukken voor de aanwezigen in Utrecht. Aangezien hun enige CD Fractured Life (2007) maar uit 11, niet al te lange, nummers bestaat, werd er ook flink uitgepakt met covers om een concert van krap anderhalf uur te kunnen geven. Voor mij waren dat onbekende nummers, maar ze pasten goed bij hun bestaande werk. En dat werk brachten ze met vuur, maar toch ook ontspannen. Zanger/pianist/gitarist Chris Wall maakte tussen de nummers door grapjes met het publiek, en ook de anderen leken zich goed te vermaken. De setlist werkte langzaam maar zeker toe naar wat mij betreft het hoogtepunt, namelijk afsluiter Shooting Star. Wat een wereldnummer is dat, ook live.

Hoewel het voorprogramma, The Visual, echt volledig ruk was, was het dus een fijn muziekfeest daar in Utrecht. Hopelijk komt Air Traffic nog veel vaker terug van hun muzikanten-vakantie.

HareD


vrijdag 20 april 2018

Fake. Die Nerven

It is less than a year ago Die Nerven first featured on this blog, with an album that was out for some time when I discovered it. On 'Out' a lot of things came together and they appeared to be all working. (Read on here if you like: https://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2017/06/out-die-nerven.html.) So here's the band's new record. Again with an English name, where the band sings in German the whole of the way.

The album starts strong. An electric guitar and bass that sound the like the devil is on their tail. The drums kick in to give the song even more pace. It is Die Nerven alright. A song called 'Neue Wellen'. Now I remember 'Die Neue Welle' around 1980 and not liking by far most of it. This 'Neue Wellen' is a rock song of the mysterious kind. The band kicks up a storm here and there, yet in the way the guitar is played, there's this nano second of space giving the song a very distinct rhythm. Oh, and yes, there's decay and corpses. It all starts with a lie though. Fake! Falsche Fragen. It is all around these days and Die Nerven is angry. That much is clear.

The 80s are all over the opening song, but with an attack that was seldom heard at the time of post new wave. The weed has been taken out of the music. Now in 2018 there is a lot to be worried about, even angry about. Die Nerven have found a way to voice these feelings and emotions. Singer Julian Knoth has a few voices going for him. The angry, the detached, the dreamy. He can put it all in his voice. Listen e.g. to 'Niemals'. The song takes you from a postpunk ride right through The Strokes like sequences, giving away a lot Knoth can do for you.

Promo photo: Ralv Milberg
The first two songs already show so much differences in approach without dropping an inch of quality and self-confidence that it would be a huge surprise of the rest if the album would turn out to be a disappointment.

The fun continues in exactly the right way. There's no need for Die Nerven to make every song an angry punk shout competition. In 'Roter Sand' the band finds an in between form. The tempo is lower, the anger comes and goes. The tension is released allowing for a dreamy, soft ending to the song. The way it began.

'Alles Falsch' or is it "Alles richtig"? Make up your mind! A song that shows how superb Die Nerven is able to work with dynamics within a song. This approach is what really labels Fake. The band plays with their songs, with the expectations of its listeners. The quietest moments can truly explode into an orgy of sound, to move back into complete innocence without effort and a loss of conviction. Die Nerven plays tricks with you while delivering truly exciting music. Live this ought lead to total eruptions within audiences. Something I hope to see fairly soon.

Die Nerven has delivered another record that moves far beyond the (post)punk-indierock it is usually associated with. The band has acquired a depth that ought to bring in many other sort of rock fans who enjoyed rock music since the second half of the 70s. Die Nerven are able to make its music not only exciting for the body but also for the mind. Just listen how the band plays with a song like 'Explosionen'. (And that is only the moment when the anthem 'Kann's Nicht Gestern Sein' starts. A song for all your yesterdays and tomorrows.) It has it all and Die Nerven deliver it in a perfect way.

Wo.

You can listen to and buy Fake here:

https://dienerven.bandcamp.com/


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

donderdag 19 april 2018

Motorpsycho Live. Victorie, Alkmaar, Wednesday 18 April 2018

Photo: Wo.
Ever since hearing 'The Tower', Motorpsycho's latest album, I have been looking forward to going to this show. It has been a long while since I saw the band last. Probably 2001-02. Nighttown in Rotterdam was still a venue to play for bands this seize. In coming up close to two decades since then we have all, band and a considerable part of the audience, become men of a certain age. Not old, but certainly no longer young. What is not stopping us from rocking out.

And that is a very funny thing I noticed straight away. There are distinct differences in how certain parts of the audience moves. I was under the impression that it gave away from what angle of musical favourites these people come, where their preferences lie. Why? Motorpsycho plays a hybrid of music. Equal parts metal/grunge, prog and melodic westcoast pop and rock, although the latter is snowed under more during a live show. Despite the at times nearly unrelenting loudness, the band never forgets the melodies. So it is that why, in my opinion, one part of the audience is moving their heads forwards and backwards and another part is swaying sideways, partially dancing. Including yours truly.

Eight p.m. sharp the band walked on stage. Almost a bit uncertain, as if the audience may not recognise them. With the dj still playing his tracks as if he was the main show. A soft hello, a right arm raised and the band kicked off a storm that was to last for over two and a half hours. Somewhere during the first hour, with songs going to 10 minutes or effortless moving into the next one without a stop, I asked myself is this music good? Or beautiful? I came to a bit strange answer for myself. These questions were totally beside the point. Motorpsycho live is a near total body experience. Whether a song is super melodic or is based on an (extremely) uncomfortable riff, that is the moment the band starts to take off on explorations of the inner structure of the song perhaps for the inner soul of the musicians showing their true selves through the notes and tempo changes that result from it. The guest guitarist and keyboard player, I did not catch his name but it may have been Kristopher, looked for cues at some points in songs, compositions may be a better word in some cases, to catch the moments that defined them. The result being that almost all songs show their beauty no matter what.

Each song is built up from small parts. I was listening in awe to see how the individual musicians were trying to stretch those confinements or to experiment with how many notes or fills could be squeezed into these little segments, never failing to come out at the exactly right moment. In other words, these restraints did not seem to exist for them.

The other moments I was in awe, is how well this band manages the dynamics within songs/jams. It never fails to impress and send shivers down my spine to hear a song be taken down into a very melodic part, with yet another effect on the guitar and/or keyboard, changing the whole world basically. Truly impressive how this band works together towards a total experience.

Spot the guitar tech!
Drummer Tomas Järmyr, only on board for two years, really showed what he was worth. At times every individual hit he made on a skin or cymbal could be heard in the mix so clearly. When he thought to make the bassdrum the driving rhythm in one of the songs, instead of the hi-hat, he may have been over-confident. Yet it looked like it took no effort at all to keep that rhythm going with his foot and leg. Fact is it gave the song a total different feel from all the other songs (in general as well). It looked gruelling having to keep this pace.

There was one downside to the show, it was at times too loud. It interfered with my hearing properly and resulted in a permanent high note in my ears that I am sure the band was not producing. It also prevents the lyrics from being heard, which, I suppose, is an important part of the package Motorpsycho is producing for us. So why prevent us from truly hearing them?

For the rest, what a show. An impressive two and a half hours of great music, in a venue I hadn't been to before. De Victorie is a fine venue I must say and totally new it seems. If the train connections worked just this bit better, it might be perfect. I already found a solution to that (not being a car). In other words, you may see me again sometime soon.

Was it me or did Bent joke at the end, introducing him and Snah the other way around? That gives his "my best friend" quite a different angle as well! Communication other than through music is not Motorpsycho's aim nor forte. The best one was Bent introducing: "This is about", fall silent, never finishing his intended comment. The music compensates and tells all.

(All photo's by) Wo.


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

A New Hiding Place. Geri van Essen

Geri van Essen groeide op in Nederland, maar woont inmiddels al een aantal jaren in Oost Londen.

Als kind zong ze vooral voor de lol in een kinderkoor, maar toen ze eenmaal de folk uit de jaren 70 had ontdekt in de platenkast van haar ouders wist ze dat ze haar eigen muziek wilde maken en waar kan dat als folkie beter dan in Londen?

Geri van Essen is inmiddels een aantal jaren een graag geziene gast op de vele Londense folkpodia, maar met A New Hiding Place heeft de Nederlandse singer-songwriter nu ook haar eerste plaat uitgebracht.

Het debuut van Geri van Essen bevat acht songs en duurt 23 minuten, waardoor A New Hiding Place als een mini-album moet worden gezien. Vanwege het enorme aanbod van het moment laat ik mini-albums meestal liggen, maar het debuut van Geri van Essen is wat mij betreft een mooie en bijzondere plaat, die ik zelf niet graag had willen missen.

Op haar debuut vertolkt Geri van Essen drie traditionals uit de archieven van de Amerikaanse folk en gospel en laat ze vijf eigen songs horen. Na het beluisteren van A New Hiding Place begrijp ik wel waarom de Britse folkliefhebbers zo enthousiast zijn over de muziek van Geri van Essen.

Bij folk denk ik in eerste instantie aan een stem die iets met je doet en Geri van Essen beschikt over zo’n stem. Net als de grootheden uit de historie van het genre, die met enige regelmaat opduiken als associatie, heeft de stem van Geri van Essen maar een paar noten nodig om je te raken en hierna speelt de vanuit Londen opererende Nederlandse singer-songwriter een gewonnen wedstrijd. Het een stem die intiem en fluisterzacht kan klinken, maar iedere noot is raak en komt aan.

De mooie, heldere en emotievolle stem van Geri van Essen staat centraal op A New Hiding Place, maar ook de instrumentatie op de plaat maakt indruk. In deze instrumentatie staat de akoestische gitaar uiteraard centraal en de vaak repeterende akkoorden zorgen voor een fraaie en warm klinkende basis.

Hier laat Geri van Essen het niet bij, want met de bijzondere bijdragen van een vervormde piano, een scheurende gitaar en vooral de meerdere malen opduikende trompet kleurt Geri van Essen hier en daar bijzonder fraai buiten de lijntjes van de traditionele Britse en Amerikaanse folk, waardoor A New Hiding Place zich makkelijk kan onderscheiden van al die andere traditionele folkplaten van het moment.

Geri van Essen maakt in de 23 minuten die A New Hiding Place duurt indruk met bijzondere accenten in de instrumentatie en doet hetzelfde in de vocalen door eenmaal een donkere mannenstem en eenmaal een pastoraal klinkende vrouwenstem toe te voegen, waardoor de schoonheid van haar eigen stem nog nadrukkelijker aan de oppervlakte komt.

Omdat ook de songs van Geri van Essen wonderschoon zijn en haar vertolking van traditionals nergens overbodig klinkt, durf ik Geri van Essen bij deze wel uit te roepen tot één van de grote beloften van de Nederlandse en de Britse folk. Het is een belofte die met A New Hiding Place een ijzersterk en  bijzonder mooi visitekaartje aflevert.

Wo.

A New Hiding Place kan hier worden beluisterd en gekocht:

https://gerivanessen.bandcamp.com/

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

woensdag 18 april 2018

Twentytwo In Blue. Sunflower Bean

Listening to Twentytwo In Blue I all of a sudden ask myself a question. What sort of music would female singers singers like The Ronettes or Nancy Sinatra be singing if they were 22 today instead of in 1960 or something. Most likely they'd be doing R&B or doing a female vocal in one of those endless DJ collaborations that are all over the charts these days (and saves me time for not having to listen). Artists like the ones I mentioned above did not have have anything or certainly not much to say about what they recorded. They were concerted hit factories until they were no more. Nancy was lucky to run into Lee Hazlewood and scored some more hits into her mid 20s, making her really famous forever.

The reason is that one of the songs on Twentytwo In Blue brought 'To Know Him Is To Love Him' to mind. I know the song was written in 1958 by Phil Spector, what I did not know that is wasn't The Ronettes, but The Teddy Bears, that scored the #1 hitsingle and that Spector was a member of the vocal group at the time. So there goes a part of my theory. (I know the Nancy version because the a late aunt has single 'Like I Do' a long time a go. 'To Know Him ...' was the B-side.)

What most of these girl vocalists, had they been young now, probably would not be doing is playing in a band like Sunflower Bean. Somehow that is irony as singer/bass player Julia Cumming could have featured on any of the records referred to above.

Sunflower Bean is a trio from Brooklyn and this is its second LP. In its music all of pop and rock of the past 60 years comes by. From the innocent voices replacing the first wave of raw rock and roll, to the beat of The Beatles and the darker sides of New York City with The Velvet Underground rhythms overladen with sweet sounding guitars and the new wave/punkpop of Blondie or the mellowness of Josh Rouse. Be ready for it all to be there.

Somewhere under that sweet-voiced Ms. Cumming there can be hints of danger in the music. By making the guitars sound just a little bit more dangerous and the drums pounded just a little harder. The second surprise is that the band has two lead vocalists. Nick Kivlen joins Julia Cumming regularly for a duet or take the lead himself, changing the sound of the band and making it more versatile.

Sunflower Bean fits in a long list of bands with a female lead vocalist releasing records in this idiom over the past 10 years. With Twentytwo In Blue it has secured a position for itself in this list, without being special or outstanding. It is the only band reminding me this much of songs from a time long gone though.

Wo.


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g

dinsdag 17 april 2018

Seeing Things. Eb & Sparrow

And another record from down under reaches this tiny part of the northern hemisphere. Thanks to a news letter by Flying Nun Records from New Zealand it is easy to keep up with what would otherwise most likely have remained hidden. Add to that global connectors like Spotify and it is no trouble at all to keep up with these far off releases.

So Eb & Sparrow is from New Zealand. The centre piece is Ebony Lamb, who is the voice and the guitarist of Eb & Sparrow. Her songs hold elements of country to which all sorts of things are added, making the music have little to do with the country & western I abhorred when I was young.

If one word has to describe the music on Seeing Things, it has to be atmosphere. The mood on this album is like a cloudy day in summer. No sun in sight really, yet warm. No wind, but that could be a matter of moments, just like the sun could break through unexpectedly, yet in all its glory. There's no way of telling where the weather is going to go. Just like that type of weather the music on Seeing Things is laden with suspense. Through the spacious mix, the effects on the voice and the guitars. Everything is downcast, without minding it for one moment. It is here that the beauty of Eb & Sparrow's music derives from. As beauty it is and this album's is filled to the brim with it.

The album opens with a topic setting the scene with only one word: 'Death'. A part of life nobody really wants to be reminded of. Ignoring its inevitability is probably one of the best character traits humans have developed. Dark, muted sounds weave themselves into my ears, before Ebony Lamb joins it. A trumpet, a violin all have a part in this dirge.

Luckily it doesn't remain this bleak. The clear sounding guitars in 'To The West' give the song a 60s flavour. Like the melancholy songs of The Shangri-Las, with only one singer. And not a teenage drama in sight.

So Cat Power comes to mind, but also Belgian band TMGS as soon as the clear trumpets enter 'Settle'. Its 'Rivers And Coastlines: The Ride' is full of these trumpets and modern country music. Another Belgian band Vaya Con Dios comes by in the way Ebony Lamb sings in 'Working'. At the end of this song the thunder finally breaks loose. All of a sudden nothing is held back any longer, leading to an explosion of sound and energy.

As a contrast a little Lana del Rey enters the album in 'Prodigal'. Not so much as a copy of the U.S. singer, no for that 'Prodigal' has its own uniqueness. Ebony Lamb's voice can handle all sort of styles successfully and make it her own I find. It leads to one of the most beautiful songs on Seeing Things. All the sounds coming in over the soft drumming and bass. Long held notes on an organ and clear, twangy notes on the lead guitar. An absolute highlight this song is. "I'm dying, sweet Lord I'm dying" are the final words of the song. Luckily I do not have to take this literally. The album ends with the most traditional one on this album, a country-noir song called 'My Old House', with a 'Twin Peaks' twang on the lead guitar.

Wo.


Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

https://open.spotify.com/user/glazu53/playlist/6R9FgPd2btrMuMaIrYeCh6?si=KI6LzLaAS5K-wsez5oSO2g