REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE BOARD
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Album review for Copper Clad Coinage
by Albert E. Trapezoid (26/01/2020)
Anatomy of the Heads are a bunch of musicians from Banana (Kiribati, that is). And these Banana men released a bunch (well, three) live albums on the same day in October 2019. I picked one to discuss below.
“Copper Clad Coinage” is made up of two long-form pieces recorded live at the Gwanyongsan Arts & Culture Festival 2018, South Korea. Opener “Barnacle Headdress” is a slow synth lamentation over drone bed and bird noises. About half way through a bed of static gets louder with some noises down in the mix; I suspect they may be having a bit of fun here – throwing in things that sound like carnival noises or rewinding tape, among other interjections. The piece ultimately ends on kind of a funereal note. It’s a wonderful trip. You can get a taste here:
“Island Gigantism” starts off like exotica gone rogue, with carnival keyboard, flute drenched in echo and drone rhythm underneath. As you ride the wave of this piece you’ll also encounter sounds that are a soundtrack for your dreams – sometimes pleasant but also, at times, a little nightmarish. Overall it’s another great, dense sound journey.
And might I suggest you also poke around their website? The “AoftheH” sense of humor is well evident, and if you need it they can even help you “up your luau game.”
Album review for An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual
by siLLy_puPPy (04/10/2020)
So what do think of a band who describes itself as your favorite ChiChi fueled CIA psyop, honey-pot/money-bomb-operation that will sell all your personal information
to Korean gangsters and hot tiger moms with listeners commenting that this particular musical entity sounds like Sun Ra and King Crimson had a child that listened to Mr Bungle and subsequently
dropped out of school to pursue a career as a freelance painter and yet another who says imagine Carlos Santana and Les Claypool making love while Weather Report watches? Well, you’d probably
think that this artist is fucking nuts! And guess what! You’d be right, hehe.
ANATOMY OF THE HEADS ( or AoftheH ) is strange all the way around. First of all this bizarre sound making team of Van Gore and Christ Orf Gutsch along with a few friends started out on the island nation of Kiribati (which is pronounced KIR - i - boss) in the village of Banana (that’s right, the fruit) on the island of Kiritimati but this weirdo unit has since relocated to the USA in South Carolina. This is one of those unclassifiable acts that is so weird and outside the parameters of anything else that you can only simply tag this as experimental music. This artist has so far only released this one album titled AN ADORATION IN PRAYER AND RITUAL in 2017 and has quite an amazingly developed website for a newbie on the block.
This bizarre amalgamation of sounds is divided into three tracks each titled “Roman Numeral” but followed by a subtitle. “Roman Numeral no.1 - Trio Phantasma” is the first up and displays these guys’ affinity for an otherworldly vibe that takes extreme avant-garde angularities and channels them into post-rock-avant-jazz-fusion gone completely free improvisation. In some ways this reminds me of the Brazilian band Satanique Samba Trio which deconstructs jazz and reinterprets it in very strange twisted ways. The jazzy touches and shrill sounds the pop out of nowhere sound more like John Zorn on his most dissonant and experimental projects than anyone else although however there is a rhythmic drive that keeps the whole thing from sounding like chaos. The mix of atonal surf rock guitars and freaky electronic sounds guarantees a true trip to a musical world you never knew existed. A sax squawks too. The end devolves into pure electronic noise.
“Roman Numeral no.2 - Cubenga:Volcano God” is the more energetic of the three tracks with a steady percussive drive accompanied by the avant-prog guitar riffs which defiantly surf the backbeats and off rhythm cracks but the track also has moments that almost sound melodic and “normal” but despite threatening to break into surf rock the monster of jazz derails any attempts at full melodic completions and the track remains a rather offbeat freak of nature but then when you just start adapting to its off-kilter charm it slinks into the Weather Report zone with nice calming jazz-fusion sounds that meander into a more ominous arena that sounds exactly like a volcano god sacrifice is about to take place. One of the best features of this album is the crisp production value as every sound is gaged perfectly in relation to the next.
“Roman Numeral no.3 - Shepherd's Firth Infirmary” is the longest at over 13 minutes and likewise is the weirdest as it begins with some strange lysergic electronic sounds and on this track i can totally understand where the Sun Ra comparisons come into play. Just think of Ra’s most out there albums like “Strange Strings” where free improvisation, free jazz and musique concréte all go to the same party and have too much to drink and get all naked and craft a love child that went off to Kiribati for a holiday and sipped some strange coconut juice and had an interdimensional journey into an ahi tuna’s butt and then nirvana was reached before falling into a deep trance where alien grays whispered sonic recipes of insanity which got jumbled upon awakening and this is what resulted from the feeble attempt to recreate that experience. This one is long enough that it explore many dark recesses of the mind and all the better for it.
Wow! This is fucking cool as fuck! This is the shit avant-garde dreams are made of and fuel all my ChiChi fueled CIA psyop paranoid delusions for sure! Difficult to describe this formless amoeba music but if you like Nurse With Wound, Sun Ra (at his weirdest), John Zorn, Throbbing Gristle, Sun City Girls, Genocide Organ, NON or Psychic TV, there’s a good chance you’ll love this as well. It’s really hard to compare these improv acts to one another but for music like this to work it has to have some sort of underlying theme, a wide spectrum of variations to avoid tedium and a rich sonic palette of tones, textures and ambience. ANATOMY OF THE HEADS has all of the above and crafts interesting emotional reactions through various sonic techniques. While it’s almost impossible to convey this music through the use of language, it’s something you know that works when you hear it and whatever the secret formula is for crafting this kind of freak music, AoftheH has mastered it.
Album review for An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual
by SeisMo (05/13/2020)
Let’s keep this Collection rolling! Now, with 10 albums from 10 artists, each one creating something that is more than experimental; rather, at times, creative ingenuity. You may enjoy my list, you may think I’m downright retarded putting Die Form past Kraftwerk. Well, this is not structured in any particular order, so calm the ‘f’ down! – also, send me all the hate mail you want, but it doesn’t matter ordering any works of art from ‘least to greatest’; but that’s just 21 year old me. I feel like I’m getting a little off track, here’s a collection of ‘The Wonders of the World!’
Ever wondered what being stranded on an island would sound like, An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual will surely give you an interesting taste. Pumped with a nice flux of Hawaiian vibes and viscerally eccentric arrangement’s, guitar’s and classical styles seem to be shrouded in this kind of undulated noise. Softly stirring; deeply invigorating, as I listen to this album I’m filled with a tension that is somehow relaxing – yet feel like I’ve transformed into Michael Meyers everytime I listen. And, that’s a good thing, I enjoy walking around the neighborhood, slowly, stealthily, looking for my next victim – but you know, that’s just me, I guess.