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Thursday, 19 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
London’s the Chemistry Set were fuelled by the late 1980's Madchester movement and frequently lauded by the late John Peel. Despite a hiatus in 1991, this quartet’s LP ‘Sounds Like Painting’ (recorded in 1989), brought them back to their attentive fan base when it was finally released in 2008.
Their first single, ‘Don’t Turn Away’ soared up the charts in the UK and Spain, and their current single, ‘Impossible Love,’ which is being released on 7 “ vinyl, is a reminder of their trademark richness.
This six-minute, cinematic wonder is like the scientific “butterfly effect” set to sound. They have successfully merged the psychedelic wistfulness of the 1960s with the contemporary electro-magnetism of the present era.
This epic is six-minutes long and has, at its core, a brilliant, yet unpredictable ambience. At the onset, a tender melody rises and soon merges with thrashing drums. Is that a sitar followed by a thundering bhangra of horns? The variety of instruments used is infinite.
The exquisite melancholia is driven forth by the gravitas of the vocals: “You left me lonely /just waiting there / my heart is broken, you didn’t care.”
These heartfelt vocals rise up in petulant pitch. Amid a steamy swirl of paradoxical grounded madness, the atonal backing vocals flood the senses; both mood-enhancing and mind-expanding, ‘Impossible Love’ takes us happily away from the fast-food, traffic-jammed cultures that saturate our every day lives, and immerses us in sonic beauty.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
21st Century Schizoid Band
Live In Japan (Gonzo Multimedia)
In these strange days when Pink Floyd cover bands fill arenas and whole holidays revolve around cover bands - the rock festival held at Rhodes being a prime example - a project like the 21st Century Schizoid Band makes perfect sense, especially given that four fifths of the band (Mel Collins, Michael Giles, Peter Giles and Ian McDonald) actually have served in the mighty King Crimson and fifth member Jakko M Jakszyk has an upcoming album, A Scarcity of Miracles, with Robert Fripp and Mel Collins due out in 2011. So impeccable credentials rather than clever copyists, the band further refine this live experience by only performing the seldom heard 1960s and 1970s repertoire of King Crimson, i.e. the more jazzy horn driven stuff, and make no mistake these old buggers can play as a blistering clatter through ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ more than proves. And for once the extras are also well worth a look/listen including interviews with all the band members, footage of recording sessions for the Official Bootleg Vol. 1 album (oh alright, the studio footage is a bit dull), and some bootleg style footage from their debut performance at the Cantebury Fayre and later at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Pubblicato: May 10, 2011
|i Maurizio Comandini|
Ginger Baker's Airforce
Valutazione: 4 stelle
Questo ottimo DVD presenta uno dei concerti finali del gruppo Airforce del batterista Ginger Baker, ripreso negli studi di Radio Bremen, una delle emittenti europee più lungimiranti che già alla fine degli anni sessanta aveva iniziato a documentare adeguatamente quella musica rock che stava impetuosamente marcando il territorio in quegli anni magici per energia, coraggio e determinazione.
Ginger Baker aveva dato vita al progetto Airforce dopo la fine dell'avventura coi Cream e quella di brevissima durata dei Blind Faith. Per Ginger Airforce era una sorta di salto in avanti verso i ritmi africani, verso le percussioni debordanti e pervasive che marcheranno tanta musica a venire. Un progetto di grande spessore che però finirà abbastanza presto per le solite ragioni.
|“... Airforce era una sorta di salto in avanti verso i ritmi africani, verso le percussioni debordanti e pervasive che marcheranno tanta musica a venire”|
La formazione originale degli Airforce era composta da undici elementi e comprendeva anche Steve Winwood e Ric Grech che avevano dato vita assieme a Ginger e ad Eric Clapton ai Blind Faith, il supergruppo che a sua volta aveva preso il posto dei Cream. Poi la formazione allargata degli Airforce iniziò a perdere i pezzi per strada, anche per la luciferina personalità di Ginger Baker, uno che da sempre non le manda a dire a nessuno.
In occasione di questo concerto in terra germanica, rispetto ai 'pesi massimi' presenti nella formazione del primo album degli Airforce (registrato dal vivo alla Royal Albert Hall il 15 gennaio del 1970), è rimasto praticamente, oltre a Ginger, il solo Graham Bond, uno degli alfieri della musica rhythm and blues europea venata di rock e di jazz.
Oltre a Baker e a Bond (al sax, alla voce e alle tastiere) il gruppo, in questa configurazione finale, comprende anche Ken Craddock (alla chitarra e alle tastiere), i saxofonisti Steve Gregory e Bud Beadle (unico altro veterano della prima formazione), il bassista Colin Gibson, le voci di Diane Stewart e Aliki Ashman e le percussioni di Speedy Acquaye.
La performance, ottimamente ripresa sia per la parte video che per quella audio, dura oltre cinquanta minuti e presenta all'inizio una lunghissima medley che mette assieme "Early In The Morning" con "Sunshine of Your Love". Si passa successivamente a "12 Gates of the City," "What a Day," "Joking," una reprise di "Sunshine of Your Love" che sfocia nella conclusiva "Tell Me a Story".
Visita il sito di Ginger Baker's Airforce.
Monday, 9 May 2011
BMX Bandits are set to re-issue their early albums 'C86' and 'Star Wars' on CD for the first time in a decade.
Ah, Glasgow. The masculine identity of the city is deeply entrenched, yet alongside this the area has a dual role as perhaps the cradle of indie pop. From Orange Juice to Camera Obscura the city has birthed countless seminal groups in the genre.
Sadly neglected, BMX Bandits could be set to get their due. Inspired by 60s pop and whimsical indie, the band's initial blast of material was released on 53rd and 3rd - a label run by Stephen McRobbie.
Focussing on their first album, BMX Bandits quickly re-jigged their line up. Singer (and only continuing member) Duglas T Stewart was joined by some indie contemporaries, including Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub.
Debut album 'C86' was a joyous, satirical swipe at the scene which spawned them. The title was an ironic swipe at the infamous cassette, whose tracklisting threatened to push the indie scene into a bottleneck.
The songwriting was a mixture of Byrds style pop and indie, and while BMX Bandits were viewed as twee the band themselves saw their style as being provocative. Rather than a celebration, 'C86' was intended as a threat.
“I saw it as ironic and provocative" explains Stewart. "I'd heard a story that Richard Hell used to walk around New York in the mid-70s wearing a T-shirt with a target on it and the slogan "Please Kill Me". For me our choice of title was like us holding up a target to those who might want to shoot us down.”
For the follow up, BMX Bandits invited another soon to be legendary indie figure on board - Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines. 'Star Wars' deepened the eclecticism of their debut, containing a deep emotional rush.
The version of 'Green Grow The Rushes' is exceptional, while the original material brought comparisons to an indie Brian Wilson.
Due to be re-issued with extensive sleevenotes, this is the first time in a decade that 'C86' / 'Star Wars' have been available on CD. Hopefully allowing the band's influence to be felt, BMX Bandits are still writing and recording and plan to unleash a new album on the world in time for their 25th anniversary.
BMX Bandits are due to release 'C86' / 'Star Wars' in April.