Tuesday 20th MarchMarch 20, 2012
Always good to try and challenge yourself I guess.Writing about tonight’s CD is certainly a challenge for me, not only because I have worked twelve hours today, and haven’t had a day off for seven days now, but also because the CD in question isn’t something I would usually write about, and quite frankly I don’t know if I have enjoyed listening to it either. Forcing myself to write something about it then, in this state of exhausted mind is an interesting experiment. The disc in question is another three inch release on the Pilgrim Talk affiliated label Ghost and Son. This one, titled Red River/Rio Tinto by the Spanish musician Miguel A. Garcia pushes the maximum length of a 3″ right up to the twenty-three minute mark and somehow fits nine briefs tracks (songs?) into that space of time. The music is an often very loud, lo-fi set of pieces put together on a computer by Garcia that involve shouted, scratchily recorded vocals blended into guitars, percussion and other noisy bits and pieces.
I think I lost the ability to place music of this type into the correct genre categories about fifteen years ago. For me the reference points here would be things like early Boredoms, Yamatsuka Eye’s work with Otomo Yoshihide and a grainier, more electronic Melt Banana. Garcia takes the wailing, shouting vocals of Alba Burgos and Ohiana Vicente (I think both female but really can’t be sure) and buries them under sheets of digitally distressed noise that may well have begun life as guitar feedback and bits of oddly good sounding percussion. The end results are then all cut up into the nine stop/start shuddering pieces here that aren’t quite really what I would call songs, and don’t contain such things as choruses or melodies or even discernible patterns to the vocals, but somehow come closer to brief pop songs than anything else I have heard in a while.
So, thrashy, almost throwaway noisy music then, without much subtlety but full of fun and no small amount of energy. There is actually a nice sense of composition in here if you can hear past the screech and rattling percussion, with the juxtaposition of loud blasts beside either silence or small clinking percussion done very well in places. Whether this was the desired effect, or even if these parts were intentional is maybe open to debate, but I think that actually quite a bit of consideration may well have gone into how these pieces were built up. I may be wrong, but I don’t think there is too much here from a compositional perspective at least that could be described as accidental. So nine tracks then, some lasting just seconds, none of them that dramatically different to the others, all a bit frantic, and all a lot of raucous fun. I can’t say I really found myself listening all that much with a considered ear, rather an adrenalin fuelled feeling of energy and movement. Listening to this CD as I drove home for an hour, very tired, in the dark this evening was perfect in that it kept me awake and active all of the way. Maybe this isn’t music I will turn to often for any deep inspiration, and perhaps actually, having spent a few hours with it on loop play I may not put the disc back in the player for quite some time, but I think it is fair to say that I found Red River/Rio Tinto to be a diverting call to my senses tonight, even if perhaps only because listening took me back to those early Otomo/Eye concerts in London that proved to be such an inspiration to myself and a generation of London musician. Fun stuff then, perhaps not for the faintest of heart or the subtlest of musical tastes.