Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch (4AD)
This time in my record review I am doing Scott Walker's new record that is called Bish Bosch. I have been a fan of Scott Walker since 1965 when my brother first played me Love Her by the Walker Brothers which is the band that Scott Walker was singing in then. Other songs that I like by The Walker Brothers are No Regrets, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More and Make it Easy on Yourself - I have a compilation record with lots of songs on but I have never listened to his modern stuff; I thought he'd stopped making music ages ago but he hadn't he just started making different music on his own without the other Walker Brothers. Here is a video for No Regrets so you can hear what he used to sound like.  This record Bish Bosch though is very different to the records he made with the Walker Brothers records and I guess this is because he got a bit older and wanted to do different things which I think is a good thing because anyone would get bored of doing the same type of thing all the time and want to do different things. The main differences are that he doesn't really sing soft anymore and the music is a lot different too and not really pop songs like he used to sing and I don't even know what I would call this type of music because it's not really like other music i've heard before, it's not really rock and it's not really pop and it's not really classical or anything else though maybe it sounds a bit like the sort of music you hear in a play in the theatre but it would have to be a very strange play to have music like this in it.
             The first song on the first record (there are two records because it is a double) is called "See You Don't Bump His Head" and it starts off with very fast drumming a bit like a machine in a factory and over the top then Scott starts singing about "plucking feathers from a swansong"and some other stuff that I couldn't really make out. After a while of this guitars start but not for long and mostly it's just the hammering drum and Scott singing and I thought this was quite interesting but a bit mournful and scary - I liked it though and it made me very interested to hear the rest of the record.
              Corps De Blah is the next song and this one starts off with just Scott singing on his own - I think Scott has a very nice voice even if he doesn't sing soft anymore. After a bit of singing on his own other noises and instruments start to come like violins and dogs barking and banging and then there is a very funny bit with farting on it, I have never heard farting in a song before and I thought it was very funny. After the farting the music gets a bit more chaotic and it sounds to me like the sky is falling in but then it gets quieter again with soft guitar and more dogs barking and then the guitars get louder and there are noises like it is pouring with rain and ships coming in to port. I think it is very interesting how many different sounds there are in this music and how it changes all the time. The end of the song I thought was especially interesting because it ends with a sound which sounded to me like swords being sharpened. I liked this song too.
              The next song is called Phrasing and it starts with Scott singing "pain is not allowed" over and over again with not much going on in the background. I thought it was a bit strange that he was singing about pain because with his new voice he does sound a little bit like he is in pain. This song I thought was a bit more normal than the other songs and sounded to me a bit more like a normal rock song with normal drums and guitars - it is still a bit strange though. At the end of the song he sings "here's to a lousy life" and it made me think maybe he isn't that happy which i think would be a shame because I think life is ok really and that it is a shame to be unhappy and I hope Scott isn't really unhappy and is just pretending. I think it's ok to have unhappy music though because it's good to have all sorts of music.
Shipwreck Kelly, A Flagpole Sitter.
           SDSS14+13B (Zercon, A Flagpole Sitter) is next which is a long song that takes up up the whole of the side of the record. At the beginning of this one there is lots of quiet and then every so often Scott sings funny stuff like in a voice that sounds like he has just lost his girlfriend or his friend - there are bits in this song where he sounds like he's gone a bit mad. The music is a bit mad sounding too and sometimes it sounds like a swarm of bees and sometimes like party music and sometimes like a phone ringing and sometimes like sad sounding classical music and sometimes like a crowd of people. When we were doing this song we looked up what a flagpole sitter was and it is someone who sits on top of a flagpole for a long time which I think is an alright thing to do but it might get a bit boring after a while, I wouldn't mind a go though but I'd probably fall off.
             The next song is Epizootics! and there is a video you can see for this one, the video is very good and I liked it all very much especially the couple dancing and the Hawaiian lady with the funny teeth and the maggots on the rose. Here is the video:
          I liked this song a lot though like all the other songs it sounds a bit sad and I think it might make you cry if you listened to it too much but I think that's okay and that it's alright to cry because after a cry you always feel a bit better than you did before. At the end of the song it doesn't sound sad though because it ends on a nice bit of ukelele which I thought was a nice way to end the song.
           The next song is called Dimples and this one sounds quite eerie like Scott is walking through a bad snowstorm while singing - it is a nice song though because it has a voice like an echo in it that I liked a lot and it's not really as noisy as the other songs so it was nice to have a change from all the noisier stuff.
            After Dimples is a song called Tar and this one starts of with a steam whistle and sounds like knives being sharpened. It seems to be a religious song because Scott is singing about God - I'm a very religious man and go to church every sunday morning because I think it's important, I like the people there because they are nice and friendly and I like singing the songs. I thought that it was quite a strange song because you don't get many songs where people are singing over knives being sharpened so I liked this song a lot.
             Pilgrim is next and this starts off with rattling drums and singing that is a bit like a red indian's singing, this is a short song so there is not much more to say about it though other than that.
             The last song on the whole record is called The Day the "Conducator" Died (An Xmas Song) and it a song that sounds a bit more normal than the rest of the record because it has normal instruments in it like guitars and bells, the bells are on it I suppose because it is a christmas song and that's a good thing because it's near christmas now and it's good to have music for christmas because then you can play it at parties but i'm not sure this would be a good christmas party song and it would probably be best to listen to it if you were on your own for christmas.
            Overall I would say that I thought this was a very good record and I thought it was very nice to hear what Scott Walker is up to these days because I have liked him for so long. I would give this record 10 out of 10 but if it was out of twenty I would give it 20 out of 20 because it is that good.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Cutthroat Convention - Gunfight@The Gates

This time we are reviewing a very good CD from a 3-piece strange electronic rock band from London called Cutthroat Convention who got in touch with me after reading my reviews and asked me to review their latest release which they sent me in a lovely handmade envolope which they had printed pictures of scissors on. I like it very much when people get in touch and send me new music to review because I like to listen to different kinds of music and I get sent all sorts of stuff that I might not of heard otherwise.
The homemade envolope
with scissors on it.
           The cd is called Gunfight@The Gates and this is interesting to me because the arts centre where I do these reviews is called the Gate - we've never had any gunfights here though because we are different kinds of people than people who have guns; I wouldn't mind carrying a gun round but I wouldn't use on people unless they tried to threaten me, this doesn't happen to me though so I don't suppose I really need a gun.
            The music on the CD is kind of like punk rock but with synthesisers instead of guitars and I thought this was a very good idea and I liked listening to it very much. It is also very strange music and I thought this was good about it too because it mad me laugh.
             The first song on the CD is called G and it starts off with a noise like a door buzzer and then someone shouts out "This is madness." and then it all starts up and it is a bit mad so the person who shouted that was right. The reason that it sounds a bit mad is because there is lots going on in the song and it doesn't stay the same and it is very fast and there is lots of shouting and when I think of the band making this music  I imagine them jumping about and throwing their instruments around - I don't know if they really do this but it would be good if they did. I liked this first song a lot.
              The next song after this is called Ec=Mc Cow which made me think of a lion in a car crash, it is strange music that sounds a bit like 80's disco and a bit like crazy heavy metal  - this is only a short song and then the next one is called E in Disgust but I didn't think it was that disgusting and that it was probably a nicer tune and more tuneful than the others have been up to now but I still thought it was a bit strange - good strange though and I liked this one a lot.
              B Rip is the next song and this one is the most heavy metal sounding so far and reminded me a bit of Black Sabbath who I like a lot especially Paranoid which you can see in a video below. I liked B Rip a lot but I thought it could be a bit longer because it was only a minute and a half.
              
              Eb/flo/hate is after B Rip and this one is very mad indeed with backwards bits and noisy keyboards and screaming and fairground noises, it is a very noisy song but I liked it a lot because it was good fun.
               ABCDivorce is next so I suppose it is about divorce, maybe it is about a man going to the ABC cinema in Shepherds Bush (which isn't there anymore) after his divorce. If I got divorced I would probably walk around the streets being a bit sad for a bit but I would probably get over it. This is a bit slower than the other songs and also longer and a bit calmer but it is still a bit mad and strange - the strangest bit is the singing because it sounds in some parts like a robot singing.
                After ABCDivorce is DBase no pzlaens which I think are made up words but I could be wrong and maybe it's a foreign language but I don't think it matters because I think Cutthroat Convention can call their songs whatever they want even if they do make up words. This song is another quieter one and the singer on it sounds like he has just got up and is still a bit groggy, the music on this is very strange indeed and I couldn't really make out what the instruments were.
                Next is DC/Superunconducter and this one is quite noisy and very strange and then after that is Haol which sounds like a riot after a football match where they are all shouting in the street and banging stuff, this is a short one two. I liked both these songs.
                CC is after those and this one sounds a bit like a BBC newsreader from the BBC studios, which are also in Shepherds Bush, reading the news in the middle of some roadworks where people are drilling the road so you can't hear him properly, it is quite a funny song and I liked it a lot.
                  The last song on this CD is Ba dishonored and this one is very noisy indeed and songs like a violent computer game with lots of shouting and noise in it. I've never really played computer games because I can't work them but I used to watch my cousin Keith play them in the arcades and used to enjoy watching him. I liked this one a lot because it was so noisy and mad and I thought it was a good way to end the record.
                  Overall I would say that I liked this band a lot because they are funny and mad and noisy and I think if I ever went to see them in concert it could drive me a bit mad but I think it's ok to be a bit mad because you get over it. I am glad that they got in touch with me because I wouldn't have heard of them otherwise - I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out

Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O - IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out (Riot Season)
This time we are reviewing a record called IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out by a band of Japanese hippies called Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. The reason I am calling them hippies is because by the looks of them on the back of the record they are hippies because they have long hair and beards like the hippies from the sixties and their record cover looks like a record from the sixties because it has a sixties pattern on it - I've never been a hippie because I've always kept my hair short but I wouldn't mind growing my hair a bit.
             This record is funny because when you take it out of the cover it's not black because it is red with white splashes on it and I thought this was very interesting because I've never seen a record like that before.
           This record is also interesting because even though it is an album it only really has one song on it called IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out U.F.O. with part one on side one and part two on side two. It only has one song on it because it is a very long song and you can only fit so much on a record.
Acid Mothers Temple:
"Japanese Hippies."
            The music on side one starts off with a long noise and then the guitars and drums and some strange keyboard noises and some singing all starts off together after a bit and it's very loud and very rocking indeed. I tried to make out what they were singing but I couldn't even though they were repeating it over and over but I suppose they could be singing in Japanese and sometimes it is hard to hear the voices anyway because the guitars are so loud. The music keeps doing the same thing over and over again and I think this is a very interesting way to make music and would be very good to listen to if you were a hippie. The music doesn't carry on the same forever though because it changes and the singing stops and there is more guitars later on which I think are played very well and they're also lots of great science fiction noises from a keyboard that I liked a lot. Near the end of this side of the record everything starts getting faster and faster and a bit mad and they sound like they're having a lot of fun and then it all comes to an end with all sorts of different things going on - I liked this very much.
              On the other side which is part two of IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out U.F.O. and it starts off with long guitar noises and voices which sound a bit like throat singing which is a type of singing you sing by going AAAAAAHHHHHHH. The guitars all get a bit noisier and there are also noises which sounds like metal being chucked about and also a noise that sounds a bit like a donkey. After a bit of this messy type music the guitars and drums start up again proper all of a sudden and it is the same tune as was on the beginning of the other side of the record except maybe a bit noisier, this goes on for a while and at one point I thought it might go on for ever but it didn't because what it did was get noisier and noisier and more mad-sounding and then stopped with a bit long noise - I liked this side of the record too and think it is very interesting to have a big long song getting noisier and noisier and going mad because it makes a nice change from shorter, more normal songs.
               Overall I would say that I liked this record very much; I thought it was interesting, noisy, a bit weird and good fun, I would give it 10 out of 10.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Mindspan - The Second Cycle.

Mindspan - The Second Cycle (Silent Season)
And now we are doing a CD from a Canadian label Called Silent Season. The CD is by a guy called Mindspan and is called The Second Cycle, it is called The Second Cycle because it is the second CD that Mindspan has released though he has also made lots of other records and CDs where he calls himself ASC.
           Mindspan makes quiet, slow, relaxing electronic music that is very interesting to listen to and I think it would be very nice to hear when you are in bed so that you could fall asleep while you were listening to it, it would probably make you have interesting dreams if you did this.
           The first song is called Dying Embers and it starts off softy with a soft drum beat that sounds like a heart beat and other spooky sounds at the back of that which made me think of being stuck in a sandstorm in the middle of the desert. I liked this one a lot as I have never heard music this slow before and I always like hearing new things, I thought this was a great way to start the CD.
           The next song after this is called Exothermic and I didn't know what this meant so we looked it up and it said something about energy and heat and light but I didn't really understand this either. At the start of the tune I thought this song sounded like a street parade in a rain shower because the drums reminded me a bit of a marching band and the noises in the background sound a bit like a rain shower. Later on in the song an organ comes in that sounds like a church organ and there are also noises that reminded me of scaffold pipes being banged. I thought this tune was very good too if a bit spooky but I think it's ok to have spooky music.
           Awakening is next, so I suppose the tune might be about waking up in the morning and it does sound a bit like when you wake up in the morning and your head feels a bit fuzzy - I always feel a bit fuzzy in the morning until i've had a coffee and a cigarette but after that i'm usually alright for the day. The music on this one has more quiet drums which again sounds like a heart beat but maybe a stronger heartbeat than in Dying Embers. Over the top of this there are noises like electricity crackling and whooshing noises like the wind makes, it is a very interesting tune and it made me think of all sorts of different things.
           Cyan Relay is the song after this and this one starts with a sound like water crashing on the rocks at the sea shore, I think a lot of the CD sounds like big storms and so it also makes me think of the end of the world where everyone is dead and the world just stands still and all the houses and land have no people and all you hear is the weather. I think it would be a shame if all the people in the world were gone but that it might happen because we have too many wars and we don't look after the world very well because people can't be bothered.
           Conscience is a bit of a change because there is more drum sounds in it and these sound a bit tribal, there are also wooshing noises again which reminds me of the seas again - It is a very relaxing tune and I liked it a lot.
           The next song is called Propulsion and this one reminded me a bit of a factory or a building site because there are noises like metal machines working, It is a bit faster than the other tunes have been so far and I think this is a good thing because although I like the slower ones it's always nice to have a bit of a change.
            After Propulsion is another faster one which made me think of a night time train journey in a horror film and after that is a song called Snowflake which is not quite so fast and which did remind me of snow I suppose, but not just a snowflake more like a big snowstorm where ploughs have to come out or people wouldn't be able to go anywhere; I liked these two tunes very much.
             The next song is Subdued which means calm but I think there are calmer songs on this CD because it is another fairly fast one with lots of funny noises like a far away siren and
 banging wood and lots of other things all mashed up so it is hard to make out what they sound like but that's ok and I did like it.
               The last track is called Flotsom and it is another fast one but with a different beat so it sounds different and I think that overall this CD though it sounded all the same to me at first when I listened to it close I heard all different things but I had to listen really hard. I really liked listening though and I think other people should listen to it because it might be quite different from what they are used to and they would probably enjoy it. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.
           

       
           

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Petals - Whether to Drown.

Petals - Whether to Drown (Sheepscar Light Industrial)
This week we are listening to some very good electronic noise music by a man from Huddersfield who calls himself Petals when he makes music. Petal's real name though is Kevin Sanders and I got to hear about him because he is a friend of Stewart who is a support worker where I live; Stewart is a very nice person and I went to a football match with him yesterday on Wormwood Scrubs and we talked about these reviews and his friends strange music. The reason this music is strange is that it doesn't really sound much like most music because it doesn't have a beat in it and instead is lots of long noises - it isn't really like much music i've heard before but I think that's okay because it's just different and I think it's good to listen to different things because it makes a nice change. You can see how strange Kevin's music is and see what he looks like here on this video that he sent us where he is making music by throwing a cymbal on the floor and smashing it with a stick. I liked this video very much.

              The first song on this CD is called Calm (Before a Storm) and it is a  very long track because it is over fifteen minutes long. It starts off with a slow noise a bit like a church organ which is quite quiet but then it gets louder (but still very slow) and starts sounding a bit like a factory where they are working on big machines or like an airport when all the planes are taking off. This noise keeps getting louder and bigger until it is very loud indeed and it seems like there are lots of different noises making one big noise and I thought this was very interesting. About half way through you start hearing the organ playing again and some noise like a detuned radio and even though it is noisy music I thought it was quite relaxing and I sat back in the comfy chair at the Gate and closed my eyes when we were listening to it. I think this would be a good song to listen to on earphones so you could turn it up really loud because I think that loud would be the best way to listen to it. The sounds on this track all quieten down at the end and as it got quieter it made me think of sheep grazing in a field, I liked this track a lot.
Holborn Viaduct in the past.
Holborn Viaduct now.
         The next track - which is also the last one because there are only two on this CD - is called Viaduct for Two and this made me think of the Holborn Viaduct which is an old big bridge in London which I like a lot. This one is shorter than the last one because it is only five minutes long and it starts off noisy with lots of noises which reminded me a bit of traffic noise or maybe the sound of ships coming in blowing their funnels. The song is like the last one because it gets noisier and noisier as it goes on and I think it might even be noisier than the last one though it also goes all soft again at the end. I liked this one two.
         Overall I enjoyed this CD very much and thought it was very good to listen too because it is very strange. I think that it's good to listen to strange music though because then you get to hear things that you've never heard before. If you want to listen to this CD yourself you can listen to it on this thing below and I think people should because they might like it. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Barbaros - "000"

Barbaros - "000" (Human Feather)
This time I am record reviewing a new record by a funny looking band from Liverpool, the reason they are funny looking is because they wear skin-tight masks and suits and look a bit like naked creatures from outer space. Barbaros are a band with three people in it, two drummers and a synthesiser player and they make music that is a bit like rock and a bit like electronic music and I like them a lot. Here is a video of Barbaros so you can see what they look like and hear the music they play:
          The first song on the "000" record is called Hot Squash which is what you call orange cordial when you make it with hot water which I suppose would be a nice drink though I wouldn't know because the only hot drinks I have are coffee and occasionally hot chocolate. The song starts of with the drums playing quietly and then after that the synthesiser comes in and the drums get more louder and quick, there are no vocals on it though because it is an instrumental and it doesn't need any because it is good as it is. I liked this song a lot because it is very loud and noisy and it made me think of a crazy party where everyone is having a good time. If I was to have a party this would be the sort of band I would like to play it.
"000"
           The second tune on the record is called Accent and it is another crazy tune like the last one because it is also very noisy  and fast and good to listen to. On this one the keyboards reminded me a bit of a church organ but this isn't really music like you would have in a church though because it's probably a bit too loud. My favourite bit in this song is in the middle where it stops and then starts up again with the drums going really quick and then some strange gospel type singing and very noisy synthesiser sounds - I thought this tune was excellent and I liked how it kept changing.
           After Accent the next song is called Les Noisettes which means the hazelnuts in french which is a strange thing to call a song and after that there is a song called Colin and Cindy. These two songs are both loud and quick instrumentals which reminded me of one of those bands that bang their guitars on the floor, it is very fun music because of how noisy and chaotic it is and I really like it.
             Moon Boots is the last song on the record and this one is another crazy instrumental which reminded me of music improvisation sessions we have here at the Gate on a monday afternoon. The reason it reminds me of our improvisation sessions is that we have keyboards and lots of drums here too but we also have guitars and lots of singing so maybe it's not so similar after all. I thought this was another really good song and a good way to end the record.
            Overall I would say that this was a very good record to listen to and like I said earlier I think they would be a good band to have at a party because they are very energetic and I think everyone would like them. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

     

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Tribute to Andy Williams.

This time I am not reviewing a record because instead I am doing a tribute to Andy Williams who passed away yesterday of cancer aged 84. We learnt that he had died today when we saw it in the paper during Behind the Headlines which is a newspaper group we do here at the Gate and I thought it was a terrible tragedy that he had died because it's a shame to lose such a nice character and good singer.
         I first heard of Andy Williams at my Auntie Maud's Christmas parties in Rainham in Essex where she would always play the song Butterfly (which you can see a video of at the bottom of this tribute) because it was one of her favourite songs - I always used to enjoy my Aunt Maud parties because all my relations were there and we would sit round and drink (I was only allowed a shandy though because I would only have been young), listen to music on the radiogram and eat ham and pickle sandwiches. This song reminds me of those parties so I have always liked it and his other songs too like; Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You, Moon River and Music To Watch Girls By.
          So, Goodbye Andy from me Peter and Arlo (who helps me with these reviews) and all us here at the Gate and thank you for all the hits you made, I think you were a great man and I will miss you.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Fis - The Commons

Fis - The Commons (Exit Records)
This time I am reviewing a mini-lp of electronic music from a man called FIS who is from Wellington which is the capital of New Zealand and from the pictures I've seen looks very nice. I don't think I have heard music from New Zealand before so I am looking forward to doing this review a lot. The record is called The Commons and it is a limited edition of only 250 copies that has six tracks on it, is see-through instead of black like a usual record and sounds very modern to me and very strange to listen to.
New Zealand looking very nice.
          The first song on the record is called Club Track and starts off sounding a bit like the record is a bit warped except it isn't. Then after that warped sound stops somebody says "It's a club track." and it gets louder and there is electronic organ and fast drumming like you would hear in a disco club and noises in the background like running water, it all sounds very nice. In the middle the drums get all quiet and the music goes all soft but then the drums come back and it all gets louder again - I liked this song a lot and I think it would sound very good at a disco to dance to and I think this is why it is called Club Track.
           The next song is called Steeper and is different from the last one because it is not as fast. This is a strange song and sounds to me a bit like a slow train journey maybe. The reason it sounds like a slow train journey is because the drums and strange whistle sound a bit like a slow train going along the tracks - when I'm on a train it goes fast though and I don't think they have slow trains anymore which is a good thing I suppose because you can get places more quicker on a fast train. This is a very nice song and I enjoyed it very much even though it sounds a bit weird.
              The last song on this side of the record is called We Cross Tracks and this one starts off sounding a bit the same as the last one but then changes a bit and it seemed to me like music made on a building site by construction machines and people banging scaffold pipes, I thought this one was very good too and very interesting.
             Wise Man is the first song on the second side and it starts off sounding like a snow blizzard which is a bit strange because I don't suppose there is much snow in New Zealand because it is a hot country. After the blizzard noise there is a strange noise that sounds like somebody sawing something and some drums and a weird voice saying something that I can't make out. This is quite a slow track and not really like anything I have heard before so it is hard to describe but it is very good.
          After the Wise Man song is a song called The Commons which is another slow one but maybe not as slow as the last one. This one has a drum beat and a funny noise in it that reminded me of the electronic machines you get in hospital to test your heart. There are other noises in this which sound like planes taking off and also a noise which reminded me a bit of parrots in the jungle.
A Patupaiarehe on a New
Zealand stamp.
          The next song also reminded me of the jungle because there is very fast drumming in it like you would hear in Africa. This song is called Patupaiarehe which is a very strange word that I've never seen before so I looked it up on the computer and found out that a Patupaiarehe is a spirit thing from New Zealand that lives in the forests and mountains and is sometimes hostile to humans which means it is sometimes against humans like us, probably because they don't like us very much. There are sounds like  growls and moans that at first I thought sounded like a zombie but after learning what Patupaiarehe means I think it might be the noises that one of these spirit things makes. This is a very good, very exciting song that I thought was a excellent way to end the record.
               Overall I would say that I thought this was a very nice to record to listen to because is very strange and not like anything I've heard before. I think other people will like it too when they listen to it. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Sam KDC - Symbol 8

Sam KDC - Symbol 8 (Auxiliary)
This time I am reviewing a twelve inch single by Sam KDC called Symbol 8. It is an interesting record because it is not black like ordinary records because it is silver instead and I think it is very nice to see a silver coloured record because I've never seen one before. There are three songs on Symbol 8 and they are just called Symbol 8.1, Symbol 8.2 and Symbol 8.3 which is a bit weird because it's not like how other people name their songs but that's okay. I don't know much about Sam KDC to tell you and when we tried to look up about him we couldn't find much information except that he makes electronic music which I knew already from listening to it - we did find a picture of him though and I thought he looked a nice lad but a bit like a hippie.
Sam KDC standing by a coal mine (I think)
           When Symbol 8.1 starts there are noises like people singing but they sound like they singing in a tunnel and it's all echoing and then some nice, soft piano starts playing. Then, after the piano, the electric drums start and they sound a bit like african bongos and there are also others noises which sound a bit like your tummy rumbling, after a bit the people singing come back but they sound like they are in the back of the music, I liked how all this sounded. In the middle of the song it all goes a bit quiet and then the music all come back and then it all ends up with a sound like water leaking. I liked this tune a lot, I thought it was nice and calm and I think it would be nice to listen to at night when I've had my tea and am relaxing.
            The next tune, Symbol 8.2 is even more relaxing than the first and sounds a bit like the music in a old film from 1956 about aliens called Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I liked this one too because I like science fiction films. My Aunt Betty used to like science fiction films too and we used talk about them together all the time, I think my Auntie Betty would probably like this music but I haven't heard from her in ages so I wouldn't be able to let her hear it. Here is Invasion of The Body Snatchers so you can see what I mean once you have heard the record, the music I am talking about is the music at the beginning.
           Symbol 8.3 is on the other side of the record and this another quiet, soft tune with more lovely piano and quiet drums like finger-snapping and noises like birds singing or the sound of monkeys far away in the jungle. There are more of the echoing voices on this and I thought this went very well with the music because the music is echoey too. About halfway through the song it all seems to stop and then come back with more drums which sounded a bit faster but it was still all very soft and relaxing. I thought this song was very nice indeed and I enjoyed listening to it with a coffee whilst I did this review.
            Overall I would say that this was a very relaxing and very nice to listen. I think other people who want some music to relax to would like this as well. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mala - In Cuba

Mala - In Cuba (Brownswood Recordings)
This time I am record reviewing a box of 4 records called Mala in Cuba, it is called Mala in Cuba because all the music on it was made by a man with rastafarian hair called Mala (who is from London where he makes electronic music called dubstep) after he went to Cuba to listen to Cuban music and to meet up and play with Cuban musicians. I think it is a very good thing for Mala to have gone to Cuba to make music and I reckon he would have probably liked it there as it's always good to go on holiday and see new things and meet different people. Here is a video that Mala made to explain why he went to Cuba for you to watch so you can see why he did it:
          I don't know too much about Cuba except that it is in the Caribbean and that they make big cigars there and that it is a socialist country and that Fidel Castro was the leader there for a long time though I'm not sure that he still is. At home I have a Pathe Newsreel DVD from 1959 which shows about the revolution they had in Cuba and what Cuba was like before Castro when Batista was in power. The newsreel said there were lots of casinos there before the revolution but I don't think they are there any more because Castro got rid of them. Although I know a little bit about Cuba I don't know anything about Cuban music so I hope that I will learn a little bit about it while I am doing this review.
           The first record in this box has three songs on it and the first of these is called Mulata which I looked up on the internet and found out is the spanish word for a woman with one white parent and one black. The song starts off with piano and then some drums and then the piano stops and the bass and more drums start and then the piano comes back afterwards. This is a nice slow track that is very mellow and a lovely way to start this record.
            The next track is called Tribal and it also starts with piano but when the song starts it has more drums on it and it is a little more faster than the first song. The drums sound a bit Spanish to me because it reminded me of Salsa which is music for a type of dancing that they do in Spain - Cuban people are a bit similar to people from Spain because the Spanish founded Cuba a long time ago and took their music with them. I think it is interesting how Mala has mixed the Spanish sounding Cuban music with his own music and I think it works very well indeed.
             The next song is on the B-side of this first record and is called Changuito and I didn't know what that meant so we looked it up and found out it is the name of a famous Cuban Percussionist who plays on this song - you can read all about him here and see a video of him here. The track begins with drums that sound a bit like saucepans but are really some drums called timbales which are the instruments played by Changuito and then a big bass comes in which reminded me of some of the reggae records i've listened to recently for my reviews. This is a quite noisy tune with sounds in it like car horns beeping in traffic but it is noisy in a good way and I think this would be a very good tune to dance to at a discotheque.
              The second record in the box begins with a song called Revolution so I suppose it must be about the revolution that I talked about before. A revolution is where the people of a country get fed up with their government and so get together and get rid of them. I think that this is a good idea that people can do that because sometimes governments can be a bit rubbish so it is a good thing to get rid of them - I think the government here in England is no good because they keep cutting money from disabled people like me and that it would be a good thing to have a revolution here but I'm not sure this will ever happen. This is another fast song with drums which reminded me of marching so maybe it is supposed to sound like people marching to the revolution. I thought this was a very good song indeed.
                The next song on this record is called Como Como and it is a bit different from the songs I have heard so far because it has singing on it and so far all the songs have been instrumental. This is a bit more mellow than the last couple of tunes and the voices sound very nice on it. I think this would be a nice tune to listen to while relaxing with a drink and smoking a cigarette or I suppose one of them big Cuban cigars - I've never smoked cigars though as I only smoke Benson & Hedges cigarettes but maybe I will try one some day.
               The last song on this second record is called The Tunnel and it starts off with a noise like cars going into a tunnel but then the reggae sounding bass starts up again with some Cuban drumming and later some deep sounding piano and a noise like scraping wood - I liked this song a lot and it is another one that I think would be good to dance to at a disco.
                The third record begins with a tune called Ghost which starts off with drums and people clapping and this goes on for a while before the tune starts properly, this is a slower song than the last couple and it reminded me a bit of music from films, maybe it would be an African film because the drumming and the clapping makes me think of African tribes and the music they make. I thought this was a very good song indeed and I enjoyed clapping along to it even though i'm not much use at this type of clapping.
                 The next song which is called Curfew is another one with lots of piano in it and at the beginning it reminded me of music that you would hear in old ballrooms. There is a lot of piano on this record so I think they must play the piano a lot in Cuba - while we were doing this review we looked to see if we could find Cuban piano music and found this video with lots of different Cuban piano players on it which I thought was very nice:
The piano is not the only interesting on this song though because although it starts of sounding like old ballroom music it changes and sounds a lot more like modern dancing music, I liked this one a lot because of this.
              The last song on this third record is called The Tourist and it is another slower, relaxing song that again made me think of the music that people used to dance the cha-cha to. The cha-cha is an old dance and when I looked it up up to do this review I was surprised to find out that it is a Cuban dance and I was quite pleased with myself because I didn't know that before and just guessed it. I think it is interesting that Mala made this modern tune that sound like a cha-cha tune because maybe it will help people who listen to it learn about Cuban music and dances which I think is a good thing.
                The next record in this box is the last one and has two tunes on it and the first one is called Change. This song starts off with piano that i thought sounded a bit like someone who didn't really know how to play hitting the same key over and over again but then there are other piano bits in it that sound more better so I don't think whoever can't play but was probably just pretending. There are lots of other instruments in this song like lots of drums and something that sounds like a trumpet and maybe a violin - there is lots going on in this tune and I liked it a lot.
                  The last song in this box is called Noche Sueños which means night dreams and on this one a singer called Danay Suarez sings in Spanish over the top of  Mala's music. Because it is in Spanish I didn't know what she was singing about because I can't speak Spanish but she has a very nice voice and I thought this song was pleasant to listen to and a good way to end the record.
             Overall I thought these records were very nice to listen to and I thought it was an interesting to mix the Cuban sounds with more modern sounds. I hope it sells lots of copies and makes Mala very famous and I hope lots of people get to listen to this music so they can learn a bit about Cuba like I did - I would like to go to Cuba myself one day and look around at the things there and listen to music like Mala did. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Various Artists - Piko's Yodelin' Beat Presents: Rock 'N' Roll People Vol. 2

This time I am reviewing Rock 'N' Roll People Vol.2 which is a record with a lot of people on it because it is a compilation record. The bands on it are mostly from Munich, Germany which is where Seb is from who works at The Gate and Seb is on it and so are a lot of his friends. I'm looking forward to reviewing this record very much.
          The first song on this record is by Box Codax who I have reviewed before - Box Codax are a band that has Manuela in it who comes to The Gate to help people do art, she is a very nice person and good to talk to and we all like her at The Gate. This song is not like the other songs I've heard though by Box Codax because this one doesn't have any singing on it and instead has violins and other instruments on it doing a tune which reminded me a lot of the music in Donna Summers' Hot Stuff which you can hear here:

              I don't know why the music on the Box Codax song reminds me of Hot Stuff, it just does and this is funny because it also sounds like a song from the Middle East and Hot Stuff is a disco song, I liked this one a lot.
              The next song is by a band called Smokers which is a funny name for a band - I am a heavy smoker so I like this band name; I smoke twenty cigarettes a day and I'm still around and I don't think I have cancer so I think I will carry on, I like smoking anyhow and I'm too old to give up because I'm 68. This band sound a bit like Kraftwerk who were also from Germany and who made keyboard music about trains and cars. When we were looking for Kraftwerk songs to listen to at the Gate while we were doing this review we ended up getting distracted and singing The Model instead - here is a video that my friend Francis took on his phone: 
 I liked the song by smokers because it reminded me of Kraftwerk and I like Kraftwerk.
              The next song on the record is by Mr. Vast featuring Pacífico Boy. Pacífico Boy is also sometimes called Piko Be and he is the person who got all the bands together to do this record, he also came to The Gate once to play a concert for us which was very good, I like Pico Be - I don't know who Mr. Vast is though. The song that Mr. Vast and Pico do here starts off with an instrument which sounds like a ukelele or something and then the singing starts and other instruments, It is a very good song but I didn't understand what was being sung about because the singing is in spanish (I think) but I still thought it was good.
             After this is a song called Untitled Rock 'N' Roll People but it doesn't tell you who the song is by. The song is lots of music and somebody who sounds a bit like John Lennon saying Rock 'N' Roll People Vol.2 over the top so I guess it is a bit like an advert for the record or something, which is interesting.
The inside of Cafe Montparnasse
where Pete ate snails for the first time.
              Next up is the Lunsen Trio doing a German reggae song called Babylon Must Phalle. The Lunsen Trio are Sebastian who works here at The Gate and his friends Nick and Hank. When I was doing this review Seb explained that the song is about the Pompidou Museum which is a Museum in Paris and since I was going to go to Paris I decided to see if I could go to it but unfortunately I couldn't make it which is a shame.  I did get to go on a bus tour though and I saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night and went to the Cafe Montparnasse and had snails for the first time - I thought the snails were very nice indeed. Back to the song though and I thought it was very nice indeed and especially liked the shouty vocals which reminded me a bit of how people sing in pubs when they are a bit drunk.
              After this song is a song by Das Weisse Pferd who are a band that I have reviewed before and liked very much and which also has Pico in it doing the singing. The song is very lovely and I liked it a lot and for some reason it reminded me of seagulls at the beach but I don't know why.
              The next song is called Gran Ganga and is by Pedro Almodóvar and Bernardo Bonezzi and it starts off with a noise like the waves at the sea-side before the music starts properly. This song is a Spanish type song and you you could imagine a flamenco dancer in a long white dress dancing to it. This song ends side one of the record and is a very good, fast tune that I liked a lot. We found a video for this song when we were looking it up to see if it was a famous Spanish song so here it is so you can see it:               
             On the other side of the record the first song by Tom Wu is a cover of the song Venus in Furs. I have heard the song Venus in Furs before because it was on an advert for Dunlop tyres, it is a very good song and I think Tom's version of it is very good indeed because he has made it sound a bit like a disco record. 
              After Venus in Furs is a song by Hans Platzgumer feat. Pacífico Boy called Pieces of our Minds and it is a very soft, slow song with Pacífico Boy singing "this is a masterpiece" with an echoey voice and after this is a song by Angela Aux called Oha Le Huliah. This song starts off with a woman screaming and then starts up with a funky little tune with voices going "aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh" over the top and then some great electric guitar and then it ends.
              The next song is an Instrumental by a band called Majmoon and is called "My Neighbour Doesn't Have A Cat" which is a funny name for a song and it started of reminding me a bit of The Shadows but then got a lot more rocky with loud guitars and big drumming. This is a great song that I like a lot.
            Next up is a song by a band called The Marnies who sound a bit like one of those sixties girl bands like The Supremes or Bob B.Soxx & The Blue Jeans who did Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. I like these sorts of bands a lot so it is good to be reminded of them. The Marnies song is called Apartment and in it the singer is asking somebody to come to her house. I like having people over to my house too and when they do we usually sit in the garden and have a cigarette and a coffee and a chat, it's always nice to have visitors.
               After The Marnies is a track by Parasite Woman called Honk. This is another instrumental track played on what sounds like an organ and it reminded me of Cherry Wainer who was on Six Five Special which is a music program that was on in the fifties which I used to watch with my mother and father when I was a teenager. Here is some video of Cherry Wainer so you can hear who Parasite Woman sounds a bit like: 
          After Parasite Woman there is another instrumental by a band called Electronicat which is an electronic music track. I don't know too much about electronic music but it is very good to listen to because it is different from other music I usually listen to. This track would be very good to dance to with your girlfriend at a disco or at a party.
           The next song is by Tagar and it is a bit different from the other songs because it is a noisy, fast, shouty rock song with squealing guitars - I liked this one very much.
            The final song on this record is called Rasta In Da Tekke and Seb told me a Tekke is where Greek people used to go to smoke hash and that makes sense because this is a very Greek sounding song. I liked this one because it is a noisy, fun song that I could imagine people doing quickstep dancing too, I liked it and thought this was a good way to end the record.
            Overall I thought this was a very good record with all sorts of different things on it that were all very good indeed. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

To buy this record E-Mail Piko here.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Excessive Visage - HFBK Sessions

This time I am reviewing a CD from a band from Berlin and Dresden in Germany called Excessive Visage. Excessive visage sounds a bit like a heavy metal band name but Excessive Visage are not a heavy metal band because they play very nice rock reggae music and have a woman singer with a soft voice. Excessive Visage sent me the CD because they had read my reviews and asked if I would do a review for them which I am very pleased about. 
             The first song of the four on this CD is called Canis Minor and this has nothing to do with cannabis because I looked it up and it means "Little Dog" and it is the name of a constellation of stars so this a song about the stars and not a song about drugs. The song starts off with guitar that reminds me of the theme tune for the film The Frightened City which I saw in 1961 at the cinema. We looked for the theme tune for this film so we could put it here but all we found was the full film so here it is:
          After the guitar which sounds a bit like the guitar in this film the singing starts - the singer is called Larrisa Blau and has a lovely voice which I think sounds a bit like Amy Winehouse's voice. I liked this song a lot especially the bit where all the instruments go a bit wild then goes back to normal; there is lots to listen to in this song because it changes a lot.
          The next song is called Ohne Bibel which means without bible in German (we asked Seb who worked here what it meant because Seb is a German). Ohne Bibel is different from the last song because it sounds more like a punk rock song where Canis Minor was mostly a softer type of song. It is a very good song which doesn't really sound like music i've heard before and I liked it a lot.
          The song after this is called Surface Distortion and it starts off with drums and an electric guitar solo that I liked a lot because it reminded me of sixties guitar groups like The Who who I like a lot. After the guitar solo the singer starts to sing about kissing dead remains and how people are poor - I think it might be an angry song about things being bad in the world. I think there are lots of bad things in the world like crime and people with no place to go who have to beg for money and I wish things were better and that all people were happy in life but unfortunately that's not the way it is so I think we should all help people. I liked this song because it made think of important things.
             The last song on this CD is an instrumental so it doesn't have any words. Instead of words there is lots of very well played electric guitar which I liked a lot and I thought it was a nice way of finishing the CD off.
              Overall I would say that this was a very good CD from a very good, very interesting band and I liked it very much. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Alpha & Omega meets Dan I - Blessed Are The Poor

Alpha & Omega meets Dan I - Blessed Are The Poor (Alpha & Omega)
This time I am reviewing a cd by Alpha & Omega with Dan I called Blessed are the Poor - I was sent the cd after Dan I saw another Alpha & Omega review that I did and liked it so asked if I would review his new release that he had done with them. I think it is very nice of him to send me his cd and I'm going to enjoy reviewing it very much.
           Dan I is a reggae singer from Italy who usually sings with an Italian reggae band called Imperial Sound Army but on this cd he is singing with Alpha & Omega instead. I think Dan I is a Rasta because he looks like he might be one - I don't know much about Rastas except that they are a religious group originally from Jamaica and they have dreadlocks and they sometimes wear big orange and green and black wool hats and they smoke hash as part of their religion. Because I didn't know much about it I looked it up and I found out that they started up in the 1930's and that they believe that Haile Selassie from Ethiopia was Jesus Christ reborn again and that mankind all comes from Africa. I think it is true that everybody came from Africa because this is well known from history that the first people years back were all from Africa and then moved all over the world. On this cd Dan I talks a lot about Rastafarian things so I will try and talk a bit more about them in this review.
            The first song on the cd is called Blessed are the Poor and in it Dan I sings about religion and how poor people and peacemakers are blessed by Jah which is what Rasta's call God. I like poor people too because I am one and most of the people I know are poor too and we are all nice people - I think rich people can be alright too but sometimes they can be biased against common poor people; biased means they don't like poor people because they are a bit snobbish towards them and look down on them which isn't very nice. The singing sounds good on the nice, mellow electronic reggae music by Alpha & Omega which has a nice sounding instrument on it called a melodica. I have seen people playing melodicas before in the street in the West End and I think it is a nice instrument to listen to even if it looks funny because it is a piano that you blow into - Here is a video from 1986 of another reggae man Augustus Pablo who also plays the melodica so you can hear how nice it is:

            Next track after Blessed are the Poor is Blessed Dub which is a Dub version which means it is a remake with less vocals and other bits added, every song on this CD has a dub version too and I think this is a good idea because it's good to listen to the different version of the songs.
            The next song is called Jah Arise so it is another Rasta song about God, it is a nice song and Dan I sings it very well but I don't understand it too much because I'm not a Rasta but I would like to learn more about being a Rasta so I will listen to it more -  I think it is interesting that this is religious music because the religious music I am used to is hymns at church and these songs are much better than hymns at church because they are funkier and you can dance to them.
A miserable lion in Regents Park Zoo.
           After the dub version of Jah Arise which is also very nice there is a song called Roaring Lion where Dan I sings about a lion conquering the world - I think this is another Rasta thing and he is saying that Rasta's are strong like lions; I once saw a lion in a cage at Regents Park zoo but I didn't like it being in the cage and I think all lions should be let free in the jungle to do as they like. The music on this one is very good again and pleasant to listen to - I think this because it is such relaxed music that it is so pleasant sounding.
           The next full song is called Prophecy and I really like the bass on this because it is big and funky  and makes you want to bob your head. I didn't know what a prophecy was and so Arlo (who helps me with these reviews) told me it was a bit like looking into the future - I think the future will be the same as now really but maybe with a few changes, I hope in the future that there will be less fighting and less  crime and more happiness for people, maybe Dan I would want these things too. I liked the dub version of this one a lot because the music is so good it is nice to listen to it on it's own.
          Next up is called Call On Jah Name so it is another song about God because Jah is the Rasta name for God. This song has more melodica on it and is very interesting to listen to and I really liked it.
          The next song is High Sight and I think this about smoking cannabis and getting high in the mind because that is what Rasta's do. There are a lot of reggae songs about smoking cannabis and I think this is okay even though cannabis is illegal because I don't think it really hurts anyone and if people want to do it they should be allowed.
          After the dub version of this one is a song called Jah is Near and is so is another song about God and after this and it's dub is the last song which is called Time to Know which is another religious song and I think it's telling people that they should think about religion, I think all these songs have helped me to think about religion and I have learnt a lot about the Rasta religion so I have liked doing this review. I don't think I could be a Rasta though because my hair is cut too short and because I am Church of England but I think it's ok to have all different religions as long as they don't fight and try to get along. Overall I think this is a very good and very happy sounding CD and I am glad that Dan I sent it to me. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fracture Feat. Dawn Day Night - Get Busy

Fracture Feat. Dawn Day Night - Get Busy (Exit Records)
This time I am record reviewing a 12 inch single by Fracture Feat. Dawn Day Night. Fracture is a man called Charlie Fieber who has been making a sort of very fast electronic music called Drum and Bass since the 90's with his friend who is called Neptune. Neptune is not on this record though because instead Fracture has made the record with Dawn Day Night who is a zombie singer with funny metal teeth and a face made of bones - I don't think that zombies really exist though because a zombie is a person who has come back to life and I don't think that really happens except for in horror films so I think Dawn Day Night is just a guy dressing up.
           The music on these records is fast music like drum and bass is fast music but it a bit different from drum and bass because fracture has changed it a bit to sound like juke music. Juke music is a strange type of music they play in Chicago to do a funny dance to called footwork. We watched some videos of footwork dancing and I thought it was very good indeed and a bit like how Michael Jackson dances but weirder - I wish I could do footwork but I probably couldn't because I'm not very quick on my feet because I'm 68. Here is a video you can learn about juke music and footwork and watch some of the footwork dancers and see how fast they can dance, it is a very impressive video and very interesting:
           The A-side of the fracture record is called Get Busy and starts off with Dawn Day Night singing get busy over and over. The music starts slow with just small drums and a noise like a ship's funnel but then the drums get very fast and hard and there is more of the ship's funnel noises. This is a very good song and I liked listening to it. I also liked watching the video where there is a bar called Jack's Place full of zombies dancing and drinking with some women that I think might be call girls because they are wearing leather, you can watch this video here:
            The next song on the B-side of the record is called Get Down to the Funky Beat and it is the same style as the A-side but also different because here the drums sound a bit like a woodpecker and instead of the ship's funnel noise there is a noise like frogs gulping so it all reminds me a bit of a wild forest. I liked this one too.
             Overall I would say this was a very good record to listen to and I really enjoyed watching the footwork videos and learning all about the new dance craze in Chicago. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Common Deflection Problems - We All Play Synth

Common Deflection Problems - We All Play Synth (Human Feather)
This time i am reviewing We All Play Synth by Common Deflection Problems. The record is interesting because it only has music on one side and on the other side there is no music but there is a picture instead. The record only costs 11 euros which is not much because it is about 11 pounds and that's about the same price as one and a half packets of cigarettes - I am not listening to the record though because I am listening to the music on the internet. I was asked to review the record by Human Feather who are a DIY record label in Barcelona - A DIY label is a record label that does everything themselves which I think is very clever thing for them to do because it must be hard work to run a record label.
               Common Deflection Problems are a guitar band from Italy who make noisy rock and roll music a bit like jazzy heavy metal (I thought it was funny that they call this record We All Play Synth because I can't hear any synthesisers on the record but maybe they play them at home). The music is strange for guitar music because it doesn't have much singing in it, they are a very good band though and I enjoyed listening to them very much even though there isn't much singing.
Molok the God
               The first song on the record is called The Cult of Molok, I didn't know what Molok was so we looked it up and it turns out Molok is a God that people used to worship in the past before they believed in Jesus. I think it's okay that people worshipped Molok because there were all different kinds of religion back then before Christianity - Maybe Common Deflection Problems are modern Molok worshippers and that is why they have done a song about him, maybe this song is worship music to Molok. The song is a noisy fast tune that moves about a lot and I think it would be good to listen to late at night at a party or something.
              The next song is called Steve which is a funny name for a song. I know a guy called Steve who used to be a handyman in the house I lived in and who I was in a play with once where I played Tony Blair and Steve was a King. Steve is a very nice guy who I like a lot but I don't see him too much now because he got sick and couldn't work any more which is a great shame. This song starts a bit slower than the last one but is still very noisy and it gets noisier and faster till it is very fast and very noisy by the end, I liked this one a lot.
             The next song is also a fast noisy guitar tune called Hugo in the Continent which is a bit more tuneful and normal sounding than the songs so far and then after this is a song called Urania which is not so tuneful and I thought sounded a bit like Captain Beefheart music only noisier - we listened to Captain Beefheart at the Gate a while back because he had died so we had a day when we listened to his music all day long and I liked it a lot because it is very weird music. 

            Lot of Fun Down the Vatican is the next song which is another strange song title - I'm not really sure what you could do that would be fun in the Vatican but I suppose there must be something. This is another fast, noisy guitar tune and I like this one too.
            Next song after that is called Kasbah and it is different from the other songs because it has vocals in it, the vocals are very shouty and I don't think they are using real words and are just making it up, the music in this one goes quiet, then loud and then quiet again and it changes a lot and I thought it was a very good song to end the record on.
            Overall I would say that I liked this record a lot and I think if you like Captain Beefheart or other good guitar music like Jimi Hendrix or Heavy Metal then you would like this record too. I would give this music 10 out of 10.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Alpha Steppa Meets Alpha & Omega Pt III - Highest Grade EP


Alpha Steppa Meets Alpha & Omega Pt III - Highest Grade EP (Feat. Flex Zagazzow)(Steppa Records)
This time I am record reviewing a double 7 inch record by Alpha Steppa and Alpha and Omega with somebody called Flex Zagazzow doing the singing. The copy we are listening to at The Gate is very interesting because one of them is black and one of them is white and I have never seen a white record before. What is also interesting about these two records is that Alpha and Omega are Alpha Steppa's Dad and Auntie so it is very nice that they are all helping each other out in music and releasing records together and it reminds me a bit of the Carter Family or the Osmonds who were both families that made music. I think it's very nice for families to make music together because then they can look out for each other and share any money you get out together. 
            The first record I will review is the Alpha Steppa one which is the white record. Alpha Steppa is a dubstep/reggae artist from South West England who  has been around music all his life because his family have always made music so this must be why he is very good at it.
          The first song on the record is called Highest Grade. When the singer sings about Highest Grade he is talking about really good hash which is a drug that drug addicts smoke to get high - I've never got high myself but I think it's okay that other people do because it makes them feel better about things. The music behind the singing is electric reggae which means it is reggae music but not made with guitars or normal drums but is instead made on electronic instruments like synthesiser keyboards. This is a very funky way of making music and I have been listening to a lot of electronic music at the Gate and like it very much, I think this is a very good example of what you can do with electronic instruments. The next song on the other side of the record is called Highest Dub and it is nearly the same as the other song except it is a dub version. I didn't know what this meant so I asked my friend Leon who also comes to The Gate and who likes reggae a lot and he told me that dub is when you get just a normal reggae tune and make the drums and bass louder and add echoes and mix other sound effects in like sirens and clicks and noises from films and anything else you like and then you can play with the speed and make it crazy and that way you can make lots of different versions of the same song. I thought this was very interesting what he said and it made me understand this record a bit better. I liked this song too.     
            The second record is the Alpha and Omega one which is the black one. Alpha and Omega are a reggae duo (this means there are two of them) from London and Plymouth who have been making music since the mid-eighties and are still going well and making excellent music which is also reggae music made on synthesisers. The first song on this record is called Steppas Grade and is another version of Flex Zagazzow singing Highest Grade but this time with different music made by Alpha & Omega rather than Alpha Steppa and I though this was a really good version which made me tap my foot so it must be good. 
           On the B-side of the record the song is called Dub Grade and is another version of the same song again. The music on this one is interesting because it has really nice bass that goes wub wub wub and reminds me of someone blowing bubbles and also has lots of strange noises in it like little bells and birds singing - I think it's nice that there are sounds like birds on the song because birds make very nice music that is relaxing to listen to. I liked this one a lot too.
          Overall I would say that this is a very good pair of records that I enjoyed listening to very much. I think it is very interesting that all the songs are the same but a bit different because I am more used to hearing records where the songs are all different but I think it is good to have a lot of different versions of the same song because if it is a good song you may as well do it this way. I would give these records 10 out of 10.
  
Pete with Ben Alpha on his post-review visit to the Gate - Cheers Ben.