Month: September, 2014

Grinderman vs. APTBS vs. Unkle

diving back into Grinderman 2 RMX – an album realeased by Grinderman in 2012, two years after the release of the original Grinderman 2 by the Mini Seeds – this side-project of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds was a thrilling example of beautiful wildness.

at the personal department Mr. Nick Cave (guitar, vocals, piano), Mr. Warren Ellis (tenor guitar, violin, viola, mandolin, backing vocals), Mr. Martyn P. Casey (bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Mr. Jim Sclavunos (drums, backing vocals) officiated as a zestful, delicious garage rock team.

with a repertoire made of two unique albums soberly called Grinderman and Grinderman 2, the project brought a touch of fresh air to Nick Cave and reminded Seeds’ enthusiasts as well that this sumptuous writer gentleman was not only the fantastic poet, composer and singer of The Bad Seeds, but beforehand a terrific awaken guitarist. for the occasion, Warren Ellis armed himself with a tenor guitar and a violin and a viola and a mandolin, Jim Sclavunos took over his usual drumming job from the Bad Seeds and Martyn P. Casey perpetuated his guitar and bass collection.

et voilà, Grinderman blessed us with two musical nuggets before taking their leave.
breaking up after an impeccable discography, what a perfect decision.

from Grinderman 2 the frog enjoyed quite a lot the punchy Worm Tamer, which original was already a handsome noise monument, especially at his best in this RAK Session


 
in Grinderman 2 RMX, the (non-sleeping) beauty was revisited by the excellent U.N.K.L.E, which electronic psychedelia enlightened this pure rocking heavenliness,


 
but also by the amazing A Place To Bury Strangers, who solemnized it with a typical and electrifying diabolical guitar sound


 
this is highly enjoyable isn’t it?

Franz Kirmann’s Meridians

this is an invitation to tenderness, to gentleness and hearted loops that will warm you up with very poetic and touching vibes. today, the pond’s guitar adoration makes a short break to quench a thirst for some enjoyable reverie. at the controls, Franz Kirmann — the interrupted part of Piano Interrupted — invites us to a inspiring journey, a way to pervade mirroring thoughts and vibrant emotions.

Franz_Kirmann-Meridians

regardless of Kirmann’s insatiable appetite for beats and dance music – which was more perceptible on Random Access Memories, a first promising album released in 2011 full of aerial textures and deconstructions – Meridians is a pure sparkling electronica enterprise.

the substantial melancholy conveyed by the magnificent opening Dancing On The Edge of The Void accentuates little by little as Kirmann spins his web during sixty minutes of fulfilment. though Baudelaire’s spleen is also impossible to miss in He Watched as She Disappeared Into The Crowd or With Such Sweet Despair, the excellent They Drove All Night Only to Find Themselves Back Where They Started and Glider show a tasty penchant for synthesizing tunes reminiscent of the 80’s and give the album coloured and vivid notes.

Meridians hesitates between enlightenment and despondency, just as life does. the title itself evokes the so-called meridian system, which is deeply rooted in the traditional chinese belief — a path through which the energy of life flows. and the album gives manifest signs of life even though Kirmann’s pensiveness winds along a wistful course.

it matters little that skies are grey or colourful. this second breathing album released on Denovali Records is a tranquil, meditative soundtrack, a dive into half-shaded warm waters. how delightful it is to lose oneself in a slow-motion bubble, where layers of patiently assembled machine-like compositions were shaped. Meridians wavers between nostalgia, unforgotten souvenirs and choked joyful moments. it demonstrates simply and poetically how life may be.

inspired by filmmakers like Wong Kar-Wai or David Lynch, as the London-based French musician explained to Ran$om Note, Franz Kirmann’s superb new shot is supported by captivating song titles. Dancing On The Edge of The Void or That Day We Threw the Keys out the Window suggest, both in their title and melody, an attempt to escape the obscurity, and walk along a luminous promenade. no matter how the piano notes and haunted delicate voices of the closing You Fall In Love With Somebody Else have a nostalgic flavour, there is no limit to what we can hope for. melancholia can be a beautiful feeling, provided that one knows how to capture and render it in an heart-warming manner. and Franz Kirmann knows how.

Sólstafir

if you have never seen cowboys playing guitars and singing icelandic, the pond, pardon me, Arte is about to make your day with an amazing concert filmed at 2014 Hellfest of Sólstafir, a no-less amazing viking post/prog-metal band hailing from the frog’s homeland.

solstafir

on board, you will meet Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason (guitar & vocals), Svavar “Svabbi” Austmann (bass), Sæþór Maríus “Pjúddi” Sæþórsson (guitar) and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason (drums). being perfect crepuscalar rays (as the band’s name suggests with exactness), these very gentlemen have been officiating since 1995 and have released five LPs, needless to mention a bunch of EPs and demos. considering the incredible critical (and highly deserved) acclaim of Ótta, their last album, we assume that their signature to Season Of Mist in 2011 may have offered them more echo.

although the opening Lágnætti may nonplus a soprano voice aficionado (see why by reading a bit further), it worth giving Ótta a try anyway because this new album is a genuine beauty of awe-inspiring musing. if you observe the landscape of the album artwork properly, you will understand that iceland is a precious source of inspiration for the band. with Sólstafir, soft winds caress your ears occasionally, volcanoes flare up joyfully while an impatient geyser erupts. not to mention lush green parterres and grottos which light changes according to the wind direction and where huldufólk live.


 
Ótta is a flabbergasted album, made not only of raging guitars. this is a pure jewel of elegant progressive (metal) rock, such as the title track of the album suggests. violins twirl around a banjo and guitars strum gently without aggression. Aðalbjörn’s voice calms down, gets warm and revives the frog’s desire to speak icelandic again. the atmospheric erupting guitars of Dagmái announce a disquieting anger which actually never really pops out. the melodies of this new album shows a clear poetic line, even if Miðdegi reminds absent-minded elves that Sólstafir also draw some inspiring from metal roots. a guitar meows gently in the background, this is remarkable.

a pinch of power roused by thrilling metal notes (Nón) and a soupçon of melancholy stirred by post-rock breezes. a melancholic piano which pairs doleful guitars before violins echo them (Miðaftann) invite to close your eyes and let things go. Ótta terminates with magnificent tempestuous drums and guitars that stress the urgent need to escape and feel the tonic of the fresh air whipping against your face, as your eyes get lost at gazing tormented black waves. this is absolutely beautiful.

to comprehend the grandeur of the album entirely, Season Of Mist gives listeners a precious clue:

The song titles of Ótta form a concept based on an old Icelandic system of time keeping similar to the monastic hours called Eykt (“eight”). The 24 hour day was divided into 8 parts of 3 hours each. The album starts at midnight, the beginning of Lágnætti (“low night”), continues through each Eyktir of the day and ends with Náttmál (“nighttime”) from 21:00 to 0:00. This form of time keeping is more open than the relentless ticking of modern times, where each second is made to count, which turns humanity into cocks of the corporate clockwork.

now, to enjoy your (possible) discover of this powerful heaven music in every respect, we recommend to have a direct insight in the band’s tender repertoire on a KEXP’s session, directed from KEX Hostel in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves ’12. be ready to be staggered, for you couldn’t be closer to Sólstafir.