Nov 30, 2007

danny cohen

danny cohen - shades of dorian grey (anti, 2007)

With Shades Of Dorian Gray, Danny Cohen has crafted the musical equivalent of an accomplished painting. Equally cerebral and serendipitous, his third Anti- album is an eclectic song cycle that thrives, informs and rewards with each successive listen.

Danny Cohen, known for his sharp storytelling, observant lyrics and and poised vocal delivery brings Wilson-esque arrangements and ambitious instrumentation to his latest Anti- release, “Shade Of Dorian Gray”. Mellotrons, horns, organs, and lap steel adorn these 16 terrific songs full of riotous images and indelible hooks.

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Nov 23, 2007

fit & limo

New studies on strange folk conducted by the Franconian institute of applied psychedelic sciences have resulted in a fine album entitled Astralis. 18 new refined psychedelic folk songs, which remind of Fit & Limo's mid-90ies releases, but also include progressive/wyrd/mystic folk elements of their more recent work. British folk of traditional and late 60ies/early 70ies style is combined with 60ies US flower power harmonies/West Coast acid rock and Fit & Limo's own special brand of Kraut/space folk playfulness. Influences of Incredible String Band and Pearls Before Swine are more distinct again; Beau Brummels, Beatles, Witthüser & Westrup come to mind, as well. Included are three excellent versions of British traditional songs based on recordings by Shirley & Dolly Collins ("The moon shines bright", "Down in yon forest", "The snow it melts the soonest") and a cover of Alex Campbell's "Been on the road so long".
This might be the most, -slightly romantic-, dreamy release of Fit & Limo, multiple arranged, in cloudy organic movements, with a misty attention attached to the effect of arrangements. Like always they use a lot of instruments of which sitar, mellotron, and soft fuzz guitars found most of my attention amongst other elements of the layers. On just a few tracks I am taken slightly to Elly & Rikkert’s “Parzival”. On a few other tracks it seems like some songs were inspired from medieval or comparable, old songs. The 18 songs are compiled with a convincing consistency; they give me a slightly stoned and take-me-way effect.

'Astralis' es de primeras un disco bonito y en que todas las voces son en inglés. El influjo de un psych-folk enrarecido desaparece al poco de comenzar la escucha con 'The Lovers', las melodías se pasean más desnudas que de costumbre y a mí no me deja de sorprender como los de Bavaria en cada disco, y son unos cuantos, se sumergen en una misma dirección pero con distintos destinos, esta vez me recuerda a sus primeros viajes, se escucha un raga pero de ensoñadora inspiración. Quizá haya algo de romananticismo sugerido por las 3 maravillosas versiones de Shirley Collins. Fit & Limo es uno de esos grupos con los que coincido plenamente en lo que hacen, como con Ghost, a pesar de que no me emocionan tanto, todo me parece digno de escuchar, pero sí algo creo que es cierto, es que alguna que otra vez son capaces de codearse con Emtidi, Carol of Harvest, Flute & Voice... u otros de los inalcanzables del space-folk alemán, sólo ellos, porque en realidad son los únicos herederos.

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Nov 2, 2007

maulawi nururdin

maulawi nururdin - maulawi (1973)

Blood should pump nowadays at the mention of another Soul Jazz/Universal Sound release, this one an absolute original that flies in the same circles as some of the greatest jazz and soul records of the early '70s. Maulawi Nururdin's Maulawi covers a staggering landscape, and does a virtual Sherman's March across the territories of funk, blues, post-Palladium latin jazz, samba, and his own unique take on the outtasphere; burning it all down with punishing resolve, and reviving it all in his own image. Maulawi, Nururdin's solo album that died a commercial death shortly after its 1974 release, reveals a palette of compositional depth and sonic intelligence that Nururdin would have had a tough time topping had he recorded again. The product of an era rife with social and political tension, this work highlights a street-hot assembly of musicians as they document their composer/bandleader's detailed, colloquial vision.

A product of Chicago's disparate musical heritages, Maulawi's music, at its roots, shines and glows with the same crackling energy as predecessors like Sun Ra, Muddy Waters and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Nururdin, himself a multi-instrumentalist, composer and band leader, places his own thumbprint high atop the mix with his sax playing, a sweet, razor-thin layer of liberation to the often dense, and sometimes dark, journeys in sound. Stacks of percussion drive the body of this work, buoyed by the staccato thrust of Rufus Reed's bass work, and every song on Maulawi jerks the listener sideways and back again with shifts in key, time and timbre.

El trabajo de Maulawi Nururdin se encuentra abandonado, tirado en un callejón de Chicago en una bolsa vieja en la que nadie ha reparado, al abrirla, un destello te ciega y te queda la sensación de que uno no es capaz de condensar, en pocas palabras, su contenido. Es un jazz salido de la alcantarilla, allá donde va a parar casi cualquier cosa. Avant-garde que se ve abrazado por el funk y los ritmos latinos y quizá por el ya aparecido rap de The Last Poets. Él, que pasó y sobrevoló por la AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) de la que nunca llegó a ser miembro.

Strata Records editó originalmente el álbum y Soul Jazz no los recupera hoy, presten atención a la sección de vientos y a las voces y cuidado con la infección rítmica que está por venir, deep jazz en estado puro.

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