Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Album Reviews
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2010, 03:55 AM   #51 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
tore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
Posts: 5,935
Default

Got my hands on the Wombles and it's certainly a fun record! As far as curiosities go, this is definetly a good one! Brilliant as usual, antspants

edit :

Haha! Saw this on their wikipedia article, from Mike Batt, the guy behind the band :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Batt remains sensitive about the legacy of the band. In a 2008 interview he said "It is hard to be taken seriously with the Wombles hanging around my neck like a furry anvil."


edit again ..

And the mountain hall womble was a brilliant take on the Edward Grieg classic I must say
__________________
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.
tore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 10:38 PM   #52 (permalink)
Master Of Muzak
 
Anteater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Somewhere swarthy
Posts: 3,954
Default

Simon Finn – Pass The Distance (1970)


"I saw a devil rise out of the water...and he looked so gentle."

1. Very Close Friend (1:19)
2. The Courtyard (5:43)
3. What A Day (3:16)
4. Fades [Pass The Distance] (3:39)
5. Jerusalem (6:44)
6. Where's Your Master Gone (3:13)
7. Laughing 'Til Tomorrow (2:54)
8. Hiawatha (4:58)
9. Patrice (2:49)
10. Big White Car (5:48)


Reclusive and mysterious even in his recording days some forty years ago, Simon Finn's stranger-than-strange brand of psychedelic folk is truly something to behold, coming across as the demon child of Bob Dylan and Comus circa 1971 that has spent its kindergarten years divided between Woodstock orgies and the occasional mudbath.

But have no fear of the image that such a makeup of sounds may bring to mind: his 1970 debut Pass The Distance is rather raw and compelling stuff given the right time and place, and quite listenable to boot.

First, however, a bit of background: Simon Finn was born in Surrey, England back in 1951 and made his debut as a musician as an opening act for Al Stewart in 1967 at the Marquee Club in Soho after he moved to London. Three years later, he got a record contract hand over fist and managed to cut the subject of this review in studio before vanishing off the face of the musical map when he suddenly moved to Canada, leaving many curious and turning the LPs that were produced into collector's items of near legendary status within half a decade.

So the real question to answer is thus: Is Pass The Distance worthy of the cult acclaim it has amassed over the decades, among such presumptions being that it is among the best psychedelic folk albums of all time?

For that answer, I'll let these two tracks speak for themselves.






These two standouts are highlights among these various pieces, most of which seem like strange, yet occasionally beautiful fragments of a mind not quite sane - the vaguely haunting instrumental backdrops to Simon's voice is in full force on White Car, but its his tortured screams on the latter half of Jerusalem that keep you draggin' you on til the inevitable collapse. It's not pleasant, but its so damn vivid and nightmarish that you want to drown in it until the bitter end.

So anyway, despite its dissonant nature and overt oddness, Pass The Distance has been steadily creeping its claws into me the last few months and I'm sure over time it'll wedge itself in my brain as surely as its gotten under my skin. I heartily give it two thumbs way way up, and hope you all come to feel the same one day.
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 07-21-2010 at 12:16 PM.
Anteater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 06:20 PM   #53 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Hoobie Joobie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberNineDream View Post
Very interesting review thread!
I always underestimated the 70s because of all the disco hype in that decade, but now diving more into it, I actually have more 70s albums than any other decade's.

The thing for me is that the Bee Gees came out with Saturday Night Fever and I think that disco was kind of fading out at that time. When SNF took off, it changed everything - for the worse. While the Bee Gees themselves made some great disco records, a lot of disco from '78 onward really was light fare. Even downright annoying (Do I hear Village People, or Rick Dee And His Cast Of Idiot's "Disco Duck" anybody?) to the point of being utterly unbearable. Record companies, I've heard, wouldn't release a song unless it had 78 beats per minute by and large. Disco fever was a serious pain in the tush for a lot of people back then!

I find it funny that from the Bee Gees recordings - Main Course through Spirit's Having Flown - the Bee Gees were in top form. Heck, Barry Gibb even wrote songs for other artists that were big hits (Barbara Streisand, Dion Warwick, Andy Gibb, Frankie Valley) at the time. The Bee Gees were above reproach, IMHO. It's the disco movement that followed their unprecedented success that was inexcusable. Boy, people didn't really forgive them here in North America until around '89 when "One" was a smash hit.

Now they're considered legends, basically. And I think the title is well deserved. Now if Leo Sayer would only stop smirking, giggling and suffering meltdowns on talk shows and reality programs we could all just move on and be happy.
__________________
We are in the world, but not of the world, for we were called out of the world, to go back into the world, to bring others out of the world.
Hoobie Joobie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 12:38 AM   #54 (permalink)
Master Of Muzak
 
Anteater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Somewhere swarthy
Posts: 3,954
Default

Smokey Robinson – A Quiet Storm (1975)


"Soft and warm, a power source of tender force...."

1. Quiet Storm (7:48)
2. The Agony and the Ecstasy (4:50)
3. Baby That's Backatcha (3:49)
4. Wedding Song (3:36)
5. Happy (7:13)
6. Love Letters (4:12)
7. Coincidentally (4:35)


It is sometimes during one of those random conversations you have with your friends at a movie or driving down the freeway somewhere that you learn some very sad truths. In my case, once such sad truth made itself apparant about two weeks ago: I learned from a guitarist buddy that nobody in Dallas, or anyone in the state of Texas for that matter, bought tickets to see Smokey Robinson back in June when he was poised for a tour. When I asked why nobody bought tickets, he simply told me that Smokey apparently had canceled his tour dates in the Lone Star State due to an apparent "lack of interest" from the people in my area. The tickets wouldn't have been expensive either.

In all honesty, I was pissed off about it for awhile after he told me, and it made me consider the possibilities. Perhaps Smokey appears washed up to many people today, particularly those in my age group. Maybe he can't hit those notes like he used to. Maybe people just don't give a flying fuck when it comes to old school Motown unless you live in New York or Chicago. It could be any of those reasons. It could be none of these reasons also, and ultimately its all just speculation.

But you know, I'd like to say to some of these stupid kids that once upon a time, Smokey Robinson was on top of the world, and none of Motown's biggest stars, including Marvin G. and Curtis and Hayes, etc. would have found their careers if Smokey and the Miracles hadn't made Motown huge back in the 60's. People tend to forget things quickly though. Kind of like how the U.S. is already forgetting the oil spill over in China. xD

Anyway, despite Smokey's overwhelming competence and reputation back then, both live and with his peeps in studio, some people didn't keep track with ol' Smokey after his tenure with the Miracles...which is a real shame: his solo material is quite monstrous in a very good way, and particularly fearsome on 1975's A Quiet Storm, his third release.

It's quite a whopper of a release too: the strength of its approach is such that its mere existence spawned an entire radio format (Quiet Storm) which lasted a good twenty some years in the U.S. and other countries, a format reserved for slow-burning jazz tinged balladry and thumping heaps of bass and string and crooners in the dead of night.

And to an extent, most of the acclaim is rather understandable: Smokey's voice is in top silky form here in all seven of the compositions that make up A Quiet Storm, shimmying up and down ethereal octaves without pretense or the usual vibes of insincerity I seem to pick up from so many of those stagemen who inevitably build entire empires on the sound of their voice and ignorance of a musically deprived audience. Rather, Smokey handles his voice like a professional sharpshooter would maintain a sniper rifle: its precise, clean, but never lacking punch or range when necessary.

None of this would mean much, however, if the songs themselves weren't as competent as the man belting them out through a mic, and they indeed they do Smokey's voice grand justice. The opening title track, one of two length 7-minuters on the record, is in itself a marvel and a shoe-in for MVS here: memorable arrangement, fantastic buildup, and one hell of a soulful hook from the opening theremin-esque synth lines to the kick of the drum fills at each crossing of the bridge. Needless to say, if your mind doesn't perk up at the thunderous two-punch of Smokey's cry of "quiettttt storrrrrrmmm..!", you most likely require medical attention. Plus, who doesn't love the flute?




From that cracking title track onwards, you'll probably notice that there's some great flow between each piece: this is because the synth theme from the title track reappears over the course of the other songs, linking them together in a musical sense rather than a conceptual or lyrical one. Even more upbeat funk-influenced numbers such as 'Baby That's Backatcha' or the jazzy swingin' sensibilities of 'Coincidentally' work in favor of this flow through creating fun contrasts between the songs instead of setting listeners into that ever pervasive and distracting trap known as inconsistency. And with a combined playing time of only 35 minutes, nothing ever feels too long. It just flowzzz like a riverrrrrr.



A day will probably come when even more open-minded music enthusiasts will wonder why anyone ever listened to 70's funk and soul, what with the "lame" production values and wind instruments and the noticeable lack of Autotune. But as long as there are kids younger than my little brother who can pick up something by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye or Terry Callier, smile with their giant headphones on as their nerves let go and lament where all the good music went, I'd say we're on a good track.
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 07-27-2010 at 12:44 AM.
Anteater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 01:46 AM   #55 (permalink)
Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk
 
NumberNineDream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The land of the largest wine glass (aka Lebanon)
Posts: 2,183
Default

I had forgotten how good your reviews are.
Will be downloading this one the minute I get home. Lovely.
__________________
Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?

NumberNineDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #56 (permalink)
eat the masters
 
debaserr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,832
Default

really great read so far. props!
__________________
Last.FM
debaserr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2010, 10:54 PM   #57 (permalink)
Master Of Muzak
 
Anteater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Somewhere swarthy
Posts: 3,954
Default

Magma – Kobaļa (1970)


Kobaian, motherfucker - DO YOU SPEAK IT??!

1. Kobaļa (10:09)
2. Aļna (6:16)
3. Malaria (3:30)
4. Sohļa (7:00)
5. Sckxyss (3:47)
6. Auraė (10:55)
7. Thaud Zaļa (7:00)
8. Nau Ektila (12:55)
9. Stoah (8:05)
10. Muh (11:13)


Ladies and gentlemen, how many albums can you count on one hand that literally redefined the way you look at music at one point in your life or another? And perhaps even more importantly, how many of those very same albums do you still listen through on a regular basis today?

In regards to that first question, my number is five. In regards to the second question, the answer is perhaps only one or two...and this divine 1970 debut from one of France's premiere experimental bands is one of 'em.

Defining this album can be a daunting task. The jazzy elements are well within the boundaries of what groups like Soft Machine or perhaps Miles Davis's elite circle were dabbling with during the same time frame. But in 1970, how many groups were simultaneously doing concept albums around interstellar odysseys using such elements? Furthermore, how many of those same groups created a unique language to tell such a story in lyrical form, rock and jazz elements in tow?

As a certain relatively famous meme goes-




Christian Vander, drummer extraordinaire and Magma's founder, created the Zeuhl language as a way for audiences to feel the music in a more phonetic sense rather than judging it on the merit of lyrical relevancy. The words and music, hence, are inexorably linked regardless of any meaning derived, hearkening back to an earlier time in human history when music was a touch more primal and less self-conscious. Unfortunately, me typing out all this sounds like a load of pretentious bull, so I'll let the opening title track, a 10-minute smorgasbord of brilliant ideas and swinging rhythms, speak for it's magnificent self instead.



Whether one gives a damn about the dramatic lyrical content in question is of no consequence however. Kobaia's instrumentation is splendily rich and varied from track to track - highlights include the curiously loungish 'Aļna', which waltzes to a post-bop kick whilst still giving itself a quirky sense of identity all the while..as well as the the surreal 'Naü Ektila', a 12 minute excursion into Neptunian psychedelic folk performed by that world's otherworldly equivalent to the Mahavishnu Orchestra...and we can't imagine what they might look like. Seeing them might give us nightmares.



So as some of you might have guessed by this point, this is the album that started the Zeuhl genre as its practitioners know it, from France to Japan to the U.K...to pretty much everywhere. Although Magma would begin setting new standards with the inclusion of a more operatic approach on coming works, this zany initial recording set the bar quite high at the time of its release, and even today serves as inspiration for those wanting to wet their chops on the avant-garde...or for those who just want to play weird, complicated music to wow their friends and family. Either way, the influence is a positive one.

This, Romans and countrymen, was the album that introduced me to a lot of experimental (and generally jazz oriented) music about seven years ago when I was a weeee lad in a ginormous high school of failure, and in retrospect did a swell job back then at opening my ears to new possibilities instead of fostering an attitude of spitting on anything that couldn't make girls dance around in stupid ways.

In short, I fucking love this album and everything it represents. It won't hit you immediately, but when it does you'll be glad you were letting it play in the background for the last hour and a half. Hell, it may even change your life.

Good night mates, and bon appétit!!
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 09-14-2010 at 10:59 PM.
Anteater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #58 (permalink)
...
 
dankrsta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 1,774
Default

I recently heard Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh and judging by these two songs, this album seems to be very different from that one. Anyway, ever since then, I've been very intrigued by Magma, but haven't yet gotten around to submerge myself into their sound. So, it's great that you indirectly reminded me.
__________________
dankrsta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2010, 09:18 PM   #59 (permalink)
Master Of Muzak
 
Anteater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Somewhere swarthy
Posts: 3,954
Default

Hey everyone, I'm still planning on doing new reviews and such on this particular thread, but I just wanted to take a post to show off a blog that I've started in order to share interesting music dear to my heart in high quality. If you've enjoyed the reviews you've seen on this thread, then this blog shall be just as, if not more so, entertaining. ^_^

The uploads (so far and also from this point on) shall be quite eclectic and different from what you might have seen on some of the more specialized or popular music blogs. I'm also inclined to take contributors if you are willing to help spread the word and aid me in creating a music-hungry following!

Without further ado, here's The Widening Eye. Hope you enjoy what you hear!

The Widening Eye

Thanks!
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 10-09-2010 at 09:31 PM.
Anteater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2010, 05:17 AM   #60 (permalink)
Registered Jimmy Rustler
 
Dr_Rez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 5,187
Default

Keep up the reviews Ant. Im glad you put effort into them, because a lot on this forum are dreadful.
__________________
*Best chance of losing virginity is in prison crew*
*Always Checks Credentials Crew*
*nba > nfl crew*
*Shave one of my legs to pretend its a girl in my bed crew*
*Flakes on Dates to go Hoop crew*

Power: Yamaha Rx-v363
Speakers:2 Boston Acoustics A100's, 2 Pioneer HPM-60's
Headphones: Audio Technica M50, Sony MDR-XB500
Dr_Rez is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.