Monday, 3 December 2012

Raime, Cassavetes Soundtrack, Bee Mask, Banabila & Machinefabriek

I wrote a lengthy review of Raime's Quarter Turns Over A Living Line album, but decided not to post it because Raime create such a feeling of uncertainty/ambiguity in me. This may be the desired effect if one takes certain claims seriously, and wishes to hear great depths of empty despair into their work. It could be the sound of austerity Britain rendered in audio angst for a blank generation of social welfare no-hopers, if you want to see it that way. I don't. To summarise: it feels underdeveloped to me; a series of interesting sketches, rather than proper portraits.

More pleasing for obvious reasons is Faces - Music From The Sound Track, (John Cassevetes,1968). Yes, the internet still holds treasures, but you knew that anyway. The opener, 'Love Is All You Really Want', has the same dreamy feel to it as Miles Davis' In A Silent Way, but with Teo Macero producing, that should be no surprise. I've no idea who the players are, but the solos suggest a few notches above standard session work. Could that even be Herbie Hancock on electric keyboard? There's a lot of late-60s, cool funkiness going on, along with melancholy moods made for mid-life marital trauma. You can get it here.  

Not much new material has excited me of late, but you know how fussy I am. Still, Bee Mask with When We Were Eating Unripe Pears on Spectrum Spools is worth hearing. Chris Madak makes intriguing sounds that morph as they move, and that's just what I enjoy. With so much music made by the ABC of Electronic Music rule book, the kind you can easily assess in tiny bites, it's refreshing to hear something that pays replays. He's not startlingly original, but who is? Influences range from the grand Kosmiche ('The Story Of Keys And Locks') to a Radiophonic feel infused with beefy outbursts of bass and blasts of noise (throughout). 

Whilst some of us were busy downloading treasures in file form, Michel Banabila and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) were swapping music files back and forth to work on each other's material and make an album called Banabila & Machinefabriek. OK, so the title may not stir your imagination, but the sounds will. These finely-tuned forays into hiss, crackle and anti-Pop are designed to play through as one long trip on the CD, but in digital form it's broken up into 9 tracks. All the same, it sounds seamless; ever-shifting sands of sound (!) seduce and spring surprises. Just as your lulled into a sense of security you get sucked into black holes like 'Frost' and 'Bad Wiring'. Even the calm is frequently fused with static unease, as on 'Slow Wave 1', which evolves to the point where a robot Fred Astaire taps across the sound stage. At least, that's what I imagine.

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