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Friday, July 31, 2009

Robert Wyatt at RAI - Radio 3 Studio - Rome in February 1981

The cycle is completed, folks... RAI Trade/Radio 3, the italian national broadcasting radio, finally published as "Robert Wyatt - Radio experiments February 1981", the long awaited, fabled complete sessions Robert Wyatt recorded during a week of free composing, playing and recording in labs-like conditions.
The idea was to try to aurally "show" the process behind the artist, like when Picasso was asked to paint behind a glass... Robert Wyatt, being the great artist, 100 percent intellectually honest with himself AND listeners, deliberately avoided playing with producers who invited him in Rome, almost 27 years ago - i.e. playing something which was already in semi-finished form... he wanted to accept the match and try the hard way, with new-from-scratch ideas and never heard solutions, like jew-harp loops and vocal multi-recording unheard since "Moon in June" or "Las Vegas Tango".

The tracks-list is the following: 1. Opium War - 2. Heathens Have No Souls - 3. L'albero degli zoccoli - 4. Holy War - 5. Revolution Without "R" - 6. Billie's Bounce - 7. Born Again Cretin - 8. Prove sparse

The recording quality is awesome, in full AAD glory and some passage, like in "L'albero degli Zoccoli", reminds and it's echoing an embryonic "Rock Bottom"... like if the 1974 disc music remained in debrises in Wyatt's brain... but every piece is like brand new music for Third Millenium.

I personally find a very illuminating listening what an humble jew-harp is capable in Robert Wyatt's hands... and this voice!

This very disc represents a sure, personal "Top of the Pops 2009"... and definitely well worth a passionate listening by everyone.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The art of browsing

Yesterday evening, while listening to some FM radio before sleeping, I considered the following: as I found a nice radio station playing superb '70s Progressive music, the utmost pleasure in listening in the dark to some music you didn't choose, BUT which someone else made for you, enhances greatly the enjoyment... sort-of like the DJ out in the blue cocooned you and every listener with attention and loving choices.

This reminds me that, possibly, men of every age love being surprised, let's call it "the gift syndrome";-))) - i.e. it's much more intriguing and pleasant finding a sought-after disc at a second-hand shop, in some dusty bin, instead of paying top bucks on Ebay or GEMM, don't you?

... but it's not only about the fact of money saving... it's the accelerated heartbeat, the sweaty, feverish eyes wide shut-mode you experience when holding the just found, cherished item in yr. hands, for a long, orgasm-like moment.

Yes, it's the collector speaking... but "the gift syndrome", this pleasant sense of humble astonishment, is also here when I listen to my trusty, old iPod Shuffle... I also own the larger, high-tech 8GB model... BUT the FM-like, don't-know-what's-behind-the-corner of the cheap little gizmo is always surprising and zesty to my ears, never annoying or boring.

Men: strange breed we are...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The oud - a God friendly instrument which touches everyone soul

My already strong interest in oud and, to a broader extent, arabic/eastern music reaches, these days, its peak.

Dimitris Rapakosius, the fine luthier from Athens, finally completed the rebuilt/overhauling of my old Moroccan oud and shipped it to me few hours ago
(cannot stay in my shoes waiting to play it again), and my Salman Shukur, Youssuf Dhafer, Rabih Abou Khalil and Anouar Brahem's listening sessions are always very satisfying, sort-of "it's the music I need right now".

What pushed me to humbly write on this very topic is that in Mike's Oud site appeared an oud musical compendium seldom heard everywhere, a very specialized playlist compiled with care and dedication.

Have a listen... if someway unaware of the beauty and glory of this music, you could be shocked, indeed!

Mike's Oud Playlist

Farid el-Atrache's Oud

Niza Rohana's Oud

Other rare oud performances

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nicker Hill Orchestra - "All the different deaths... and rebirths" or always trust in chance...

... as things happens, folks... yesterday evening, while under the fan in a midsummer hot & wet night, I tuned for some pre-sleeping soundtrack from my B & O red radio... some chatting, some disco, some... oh, oh... Music?!?!

Was captured by a local radio, and I immediately stopped my tuning fingers and my attention to the notes of some worth, seldom heard music these days from FM radio waves... who's playing? A new Sigur Ros'? Maybe Opeth, with some "Damnation" outakes? ... again: the new Mogway?

After a couple of tracks from the radio I understood the group was "Nicker Hill Orchestra" with their last, second instrumental-only effort titled "All the different deaths... and rebirths".

What can I say?!? It's great, fresh, proud, lovingly played music from a group coming from Northern Italy, between Padua, Rovigo and Modena... Mattia and his pals made something, in my humble opinion...

I ordered their disk today, of course... you'd better go to give a chance to these musicians and to their Orchestra... they sound so embarassingly new, as they sound classic enough to fool an old S.O.B like yours truly... not bad for a new group.