Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
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 06-01-2009, 03:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default Pale and Wanarium



Hey-o, hopefully I'm a vaguely familiar face to most of you by now, and I have more time on my hands than anyone, and this is a pretty good criteria for starting a journal.

I've felt like getting one going for a while, but have been discouraged by the thought that I probably wouldn't update it regularly and it would die painfully. The main problem is that when I'm writing a review I'm fairly obsessive and can tweak and re-write over and over to no discernible effect, and it's a time sink. So this I'm going to loosen up on that and hopefully can start being a little productive.

This is just a pointless intro post, I'll get a review up later tonight. This isn't really going to be the place to find some obscure gems, because my collection isn't so large, and I get most of it from here.

There was a Leunig comic that I wanted to slap on as a header but the internet has totally failed me. If by some miracle one of you knows where to find it, I'll give you a glowing character reference.

Last edited by Fruitonica; 07-15-2009 at 03:48 AM.
Fruitonica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2009, 04:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default

Company Flow - Funcrusher Plus



Rawkus Records - 1997

This is the sound of resurrecting Wu-Tang in 2099, putting them in a room in New York City with four small windows, a Salvador Dali hung on the wall, a drum machine in the centre and letting them watch the end of the world.

A spaceship drops by, but the Martians only stay long enough to release their super-virus and are on their way. For the first couple of days nothing seems too unnatural, but then the cars and corpses start piling up in the streets, the night time cityscape is loosing its sparkle and people start clawing at the windows. Wu-tang are larger than life, but underneath the Ghostface and the Method, they're still human and it doesn't take long for them to go a little mad. After a while there's only three left, with a pile of skeletons in the fourth corner. So there's nothing left for them to do, except start making music.

At its core, Funcrusher Plus is still battle rap, focussed on wordplay, hyperviolence and ego, but a whole new breed. EL-P, Big Juss and Mr Len, spin and twist their bizzare metaphors and similes over themselves, coming at you from odd angles and extending them far past the conventions of the genre.

Drink to that pick up raps, intoxicating
Got your craving my living proof, mixture of speech and wine
To' up from just the flow but pass the liquor it's over
Henny dead even when twisted I get open like Venetian blinds
Company Flow, the fire in which you burn slow


The lyrical density is imposing, these abstract lines are thrown at you relentlessly, tumbling over each other so quickly it can be impossible to follow, even after years of listening. Every listen will yield something new, depending on where your concentration buckles under the weight it all.
The rapping is delivered low key and the rhythm of verse is just as dense to unpack as its lyrical content. Rhyme schemes are dazzingly complex and the verbosity of the lines will often squeeze in an almost uncomfortable number of syllables, with little vocal emphasis placed on punchlines.

But the ultimate reason this record has been elevated to it's classic status is EL-P's production, the beats are aggressively sharp and off-kilter, surrounded by droning melodic textures and a collage of samples that create a hypnotic, psychedelic undertone to the apocalypse brewing. It is much sparser than his later work, with more use of negative space and less timbral depth. Of all the tracks, the one that perfects this aesthetic is The Fire in Which you Burn, which opens with its punishing, schizophrenic beat and manic vinyl scratching, the monotonous flow begins to unfold over the top and then a vaguely eastern guitar begins to swirl in the background.

'Independent as fuck.'

Last edited by Fruitonica; 06-02-2009 at 02:07 AM.
Fruitonica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2009, 06:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
why bother?
 
Bulldog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 4,826
Default

I like your reviews. Very readable, even if some of them aren't on areas of music I know a lot about.

I'll be looking forward to this.
Bulldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2009, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
killedmyraindog
 
TheBig3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 9,252
Default

Yeah reviews like this one actually make me want to check the music out. As usual I'm at work, but I'll be after some youtubes of this one.

Where do you get the name of your journal?
TheBig3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2009, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
you know what it is
 
simplephysics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,893
Default

I'm glad you made a journal, too. Judging from that Company Flow review this thread's gonna be hot.
__________________
one font under god
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucem Ferre View Post
I could be cute if I wanted to be, I just choose not to because you wouldn't be able to handle yourself.
simplephysics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2009, 02:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default

Thanks for the response, I was ever so slightly nervous about logging on and it being completely ignored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBig3KilledMyRainDog View Post
Yeah reviews like this one actually make me want to check the music out. As usual I'm at work, but I'll be after some youtubes of this one.

Where do you get the name of your journal?
There's a Michael Leunig comic I've always loved, with two men - one entering a solarium and the other walking into a Pale and Wanarium. I might scan it later so I can put it up as a banner.
Fruitonica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2009, 06:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
Ba and Be.
 
jackhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: This Is England
Posts: 17,300
Default

Funcrusher plus is a great album. so much HQ intelligent hip hop was around in the 90's and it was a genre I had a passing interest in until discovering so many great albums due to MB. Is this going to be mainly Hip Hop or will you be dipping your toes elsewhere too?
__________________

A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
jackhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2009, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default

Anything that takes my fancy really, it's odd that my reviews are so heavily weighted towards hip hop, it's not my most listened genre.
Fruitonica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2009, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default



Released on Interscope, 2008

On my review of Return to Cookie Mountain I made a point of highlighting TV on the Radio's brilliant incorporation of funk into their experimental inde rock. But there is one issue with that, you couldn't dance to it. Their songs engage you with a sense of loss, hopelessness and bleak humour - but they aren't sexy (barring Wolf Like Me), and they aren't danceable.

Dear Science changes that, this is TV on the Radio's pop album, but it isn't a compromise. They play their cards close to their chest initially, the opener Halfway Home (one of the weaker tracks) welcomes back their trademark droning guitar fuzz, but as the song and album progresses the arrangements are noticeably lighter. The percussive rhythms are just as complex, but softer and somehow more inviting. And most importantly, their funk edge is bleeding out of their horn section into sharp rhythm guitar work, reminiscent of Remain in Light era Talking Heads.

But, though Dear Science is a more musically optimistic record than its predecessor, an undercurrent of future-dread still underpins it all, thematically timely with the election of Obama. The first single, Golden Age is a good example of this; in the lead up to the uplifting chorus an element of menace enters Adebimpe's vocals as they tumble faster and faster until it overtakes him and the whole song erupts in glorious horns and strings and falsetto. But somehow the inevitability of it all seems suffocating.

And this poison sting only grows more apparent when you begin to delve through the lyrics, a trend which Golden Age seems to intensify, also signifying the album's strongest patch. Next up is Family Tree, a gorgeous ballad which demonstrates how far they are willing to push their sound. No percussion, crashing pianos and mournful violins, the nuanced vocal performance is all that anchors it as a TVOTR track, as Adebimpe croons a tragic love story.

Were laying in the shadow of your family tree
Your haunted heart and me
Brought down by an old idea whose time has come
And in the shadow of the gallows of your family tree
There's a hundred hearts soar free
Pumping blood to the roots of evil to keep it young


The tempo is revived with Red Dress, a pulsating energetic track with a killer hook when the horns fully unveil themselves, the lyrics dealing with Western complacency are awash with irony and more than a touch of self loathing. Come bear witness to the whore of Babylon
If Red Dress was the illness, then DLZ shows us the symptoms (or the other way round, this is a terrible metaphor) - an impassioned attack on the War on Terror, and my favourite song from the album. On a first impression, the breathy vocals and sing-song chorus sound a little twee, but the track builds superbly.

It doesn't quite match the textural depths and beauty of Return to Cookie Mountain, but Dear Science is a brilliant album, showing a progression in their sound that I am warming to the more I listen.

Last edited by Fruitonica; 06-05-2009 at 12:24 AM.
Fruitonica 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.