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Old 11-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lovely album, great concept! Stunning write-up, I'm tickled.
Thanks, Wolke! It's nice to see you posting again. I still need to check out those recommendations you gave me a while back.

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A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

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25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


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Old 12-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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8:00 pm
K-the-I???—Broken Love Letter (2005)


After waiting another hour, the invisible man finally decides that his date isn't coming so he pays the bill and he goes outside. Ducking into a nearby alley, he strips off all his clothes like some sort of reverse super hero and stashes them in a box, next to a doorway, behind a dumpster, in the cleanest corner of the alley that he can find. Now truly undetectable to the human eye, he does what he often does to relieve stress: he runs. The sun has just disappeared behind the downtown canyon walls as he starts, and he darts through a group of Red Hat Society ladies leaving each of them with only a vague notion that one of their companions may have bumped into them. He zigzags along partially clogged sidewalks, through clouds of fractured conversation and zoetrope-like movements, past high-end chain stores and tourist-trap restaurants, under el trains and through snarled traffic. He fills his lungs with oxygen then exhales. Fills then exhales. Lost in the rhythms of breathing and transparent feet pounding on cement, he vanishes further still into simple motion of the urban machine, pushing himself forward as the cityscape flickers by on all sides.

Appropriately for this situation, the album begin with a track entitled "Miss Gofuckyourself", which sounds like a whirlwind of heartbreak and is built on top of a looped sample of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' "Cannibal's Hymn". It's a suitable introduction to this swirling maelstrom of an album, which feels more like the stomach-churning emotional turmoil of a recent breakup than any music I've ever heard in my life. Even when it's not immediately apparent what the lyrics are specifically referring to, there's this sense that we as listeners are on an out-of-control psychic train ride that could at any moment jump the track. Beats pound at us and then skitter away. Samples of everything from super-crazy record scratching to jazz to 70s-style analog synths to Italian folk to psychedelic rock to Portishead to the aforementioned Nick Cave echo in and out of this broken heart, courtesy of Thavius Beck. Bitter lyrics bang their way through the abstraction as K-the-I??? repeatedly reminds us in quiet moments that, "You're not that beautiful." It's not until the title track, three-quarters of the way through the album that things settle down in a groove that resembles normal hip hop, but that track is so angry and emotional that normal rap posturing is left sobbing in the dust.

Kiki Ceacz—the man behind this music—is the Jackson Pollock of rapping, his words splattering around in abstract patterns that nevertheless communicate something deep and human and raw. It's kind of an amazing feat when you think about it. Hip hop is so much about rhythm after all, but Ceacz's music somehow works by eschewing all that. Sure there are beats, but they don't necessarily line up with the words he's spitting or the enormous wall of noise that typically provides the backdrop. In some ways this feels more like a spoken word album than hip hop album—but really, really good spoken word. Spoken word that's on some level of emotion that's never even been considered in any coffee shop built by humans. Spoken word that will find your heart under that flinty exterior and bang the hell out of it with a tack hammer.



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i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Definitely checking out K-the-I??? after reading this and listening to the tracks. Love his style and the beats are continually interesting. Great post, Janzs.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Definitely checking out K-the-I??? after reading this and listening to the tracks. Love his style and the beats are continually interesting. Great post, Janzs.
Glad you liked it! I hope you think he's as great as I do.
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i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well that was incredible. That first song was pretty good, but that second was particularly incredible. I'll be checking this album out, fo' sho'.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have no interest in rap or hip-hop,as you know, but nevertheless it's great to see a new entry in what is already shaping up to be a contender for Journal of the Year 2013! Personally I love your prose about the Invisible Man doing his run, and the way you describe him "vanishing further into the motion of the urban machine" is just genius. I wonder if at some point in his lonely existence he may think to look around and realise that there are other more invisible men in the city, even if they can be seen? People who live their innocuous, unremarkable and unremarked lives on the edges, in the shadows, never really seen, never really part of humanity. The forgotten, ignored ones? I'd love to see you explore that aspect of his being.

Unlike the others then, as I say, I won't be checking out the album, but as ever I come here for the writing and I have never once yet been disappointed, nor do I ever expect to be. Superb job.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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9:00 pm
Harry Belafonte—Calypso (1956)


After running and running and running the invisible man finally begins to tire and finds himself far from the crowded downtown streets in some far-flung residential neighborhood he's never been to before. He wanders the quiet sidewalks for a while before the faint sound of Caribbean music drifts through the air around him. Following it, he winds up in a church basement packed with a large group of mostly geriatric Jamaicans. It takes just a little bit of observation and a little bit of eavesdropping for him to understand the circumstances that surround him. The crowd is dressed to the nines. A multi-tiered cake sits in a corner waiting to be cut and served. He hears comments here and there about childhood love back in Moneague, a lifetime of separation, a recent reunion late in life. A gray, wrinkled man and woman sway slowly in the middle of crowd of watery-eyed family and friends. These elderly newlyweds seem so happy to finally be together as they drift around the dance floor to Harry Belafonte's "I Do Adore Her". Love-scorned and jaded as he feels this evening, it's still hard for the invisible man to choke back the lump in his throat as he gazes on.

Harry Belafonte's breakthrough album Calypso has the distinction of being the first LP to ever sell over a million copies within a year of its release, and with good reason—it's absolutely flawless. The album functions as perfect slice of life really, full of innocence, joy and love, but also pain and struggle and even some disturbing socio-political content. It's an album of contradictions in many ways. The largely upbeat music is often coupled with surprisingly dark lyrics for example. It's also named Calypso despite the fact that it's full of Mento music not Calypso. And it's the biggest Jamaican album of its time despite being released by an American (though he did live in Jamaica from age 5 to age 13).

It starts with one of Belafonte's most famous songs: "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)", a prime example of the dichotomous nature of the tracks herein being that it's a somewhat gritty description of the lives of dockworkers set to a very upbeat tune. It immediately follows with the gorgeous "I Do Adore Her", a heartbreakingly romantic track which is revealed to be a tragic tale of regret and lost love on a closer listen to the lyrics. Similarly, the next track, "Jamaica Farewell", is filled with homesickness and longing despite its low-key arrangement. It's not until "Will His Love Be Like His Rum?" that we reach something truly happy, in this case a humorous and upbeat wedding song. Likewise, the next track "Dolly Dawn" is incredibly lively and uplifting. Side two opens with "Star-O", a sort of sequel to "Day-O", which is both weary-sounding and contented. "The Jack-Ass Song", the silliest three minutes of the album, follows and is one of the release's purest moments of joy. After the most religious song on the album, "Hosanna", we are treated to the bittersweet pairing of "Come Back Liza" and "Brown Skin Girl". The former being a heartbroken tune in the vein of "Jamaica Farewell" and the latter being the album's angriest track, deceptive in it's mellow arrangement but extremely critical of American exploitation its lyrics. Last is "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)", a jokey song that's substantially different from the rest of the album with its elaborate percussion and bigger sounding production.

Smiling, surprisingly, the invisible man bounds up the steps of that church basement, the sounds of clinking glasses and happy chatter following behind him. Flinging the doors at the top wide open, he strides out rejuvenated, ready to reach out to this city with a warm bear hug. Ready to strut.



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Originally Posted by P A N View Post
i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, this is quite the chronicle: it appeals to my inner novelist who tends to get filtered and wrung out through my burgeoning review mesh. Keep it up sir!
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Smiling, surprisingly, the invisible man bounds up the steps of that church basement, the sounds of clinking glasses and happy chatter following behind him. Flinging the doors at the top wide open, he strides out rejuvenated, ready to reach out to this city with a warm bear hug. Ready to strut.
Yet another transcendant, unparalleled entry, Janszoon.
The fact that it makes me pay serious attention to Belafonte for the first time is an unexpected bonus.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I wonder if Jaszoon might not have missed his calling as a music teacher. He has the uncanny ability to make me want to listen to music that I probably would have never had any desire to listen to otherwise.
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