Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 albums from Alone Records; featuring Damo Suzuki with Cuzo, and Orthodox

I love getting weird stuff in the mail. And these 2 CD's that Racer sent me from Alone Records are pretty damn weird. I'd never heard of the label before but they've been around for 10 years and are based out of Spain. Their catalog ranges from experimental/psychedelic to more traditional rock and metal. Definitely a discography I need to explore a bit more.


Puedo Ver Tu Mente
Getting back to the weirdness. Former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki is an acquired taste. His performances on classic Can albums like Future Days and Tago Mago (recently re-issued with a bonus live show, gotta get that) are pretty unhinged. He continues in that direction on this new album titled Puedo Ver Tu Mente, a live collaboration with the band Cuzo. The music is very free form with Damo improvising words and melodies in an unknown language. "Puedo Ver Tu Mente" is a sprawling 17 minute jam that starts off pretty soothing before erupting into some good feedback freak outs. Damo keeps his cool as the band goes wild around him. "Tiempo Que No Tiene Ojos en Medio" brings to mind Nico's version of "The End" but with a stronger back beat. The band switches grooves a few times to keep things interesting. It's safe to assume that everyone involved in this project has dropped acid and listened to Pharaoh Sander's classic free jazz album Karma. On that album Leon Thomas does a lot of bizarre yodels and chants. Damo does something similar but the context is much more rooted in psychedelic rock. "Billete Sencilio para Dos" wraps up the album with lots of echoey guitar, whispered vocals and all assortments of noise. If you're into the studio album of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma or the really weird stuff on Freak Out by the Mothers of Invention, then you should check this out pronto








Ba'alSlightly less weird is the new album Ba'al from Spanish metal band Orthodox. Any album that opens with a moody instrumental dedicated to Burton, John Coltrane and comic book artist Jack Kirby is worth listening to. The rest of the album is slow, heavy doom influenced metal but with a lot of psychedelics. For a three piece band they can make a lot of noise and stretch out nicely. The vocals are pretty unique. They sound almost like Eric Adams of Manowar interpreting Damo's vocals from the Can albums mentioned above. It's certainly nothing I've heard before. I'm not sure how often I'm going to listen to either of these albums in the future but I'm very glad I was given the chance to hear them. A lot of experimental music these days is pretty dull but both of these recordings are worth a spin if only to put your ears and brain to the test.

--Woody


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