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Old 05-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
Aka Cenotaph
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Default Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz is one of Tori Kudo's many musicals projects and remains his most well-known. The idea behind the group is to compose and record pop songs using unskilled players as session musicians. It's rather similar to Sun Ra's "a study in ignorance" concept... except the songs are more structured and the musicians have some knowledge of how to play their instruments. So... by doing this, he is able to create a more personal and authentic type of music... Personal being that it's raw, open, and exhibits the idiosyncratic "faults" of the session musicians' playing. Authentic in that they're not trying to cover up anything. They're just playing to the extent of their abilities. Nothing more... nothing less. And as (an intended) byproduct of all of this, the music ends up sounding painfully naive... and may even cause the listener to reminisce about his or her childhood (or at least... that's one of the effects it has on me). As I mentioned in one of my other posts, I like to compare it to what Jean Dubuffet was doing with some of his artwork. It's loosely structured, yet concrete, which results in creating an air of naivety about the work (like the example I shared in the link).

Anyways... with this creative compositional philosophy aside, Kudo ends up making some really catchy (and intricate) pop songs. The compositions are often psychedelic and folky... frequently incorporating jazz leanings into the music and utilizing lo-fi recording techniques.

Their music really touches me and hits a place in my heart (sappy, I know) that no other music is able to hit. I often find myself putting L'Autre Cap on repeat just to experience the profound amount of nostalgia, joy, and sadness that comes with it. I highly recommend giving this group a shot (yes, I know I say this a lot).

Recommended Albums:
  • Blues de Jour
  • L'Autre Cap

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like the concept and really enjoyed the sound that the band made - especially the brass and the woodwind instrument centre forground. I thought the voice was the weakest element by far, but I might come back and try these clips again; maybe they`ll grow on me.
Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn’t want anything else and then started looking for something else to want? It seems like we’re always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it. - Susan Eloise Hinton, 1967
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