Monday, November 17, 2014

Exhaustion : Bikers

Melbourne’s Exhaustion has come screeching and howling their way back with a wild follow up to their debut album last year.  Bassist Jensen Tjhung (Deaf Wish, Lower Plenty), vocalist/guitarist Duncan Blachford and drummer Per Byström (Ooga Boogas, Leather Towel) have written 7 new arresting songs at the band’s studio.  ‘Biker’ (Aarght!) is the result playing out deranged invocations of frayed rock touched by the experimentalism of No Wave and Industrial sounds.  The LP is built on meditative paranoia; minimal, repetitive lyrics distorted into mesmeric moans, calls and intonations.  The songs culminate in a general sense of ennui sounded out by discordant instrumentals and scrambled ruminations.  ‘Hard Left’ is a stand out track for me with its haunting piano, prowling beats and whirring, jagged guitar work.  ‘Lonely Cars’ is a percussion heavy number involving a tribal mood to the album accompanied by wiry, spiralling out strings.  ‘Silver Fog’ features ricocheted cave dweller vocals anchored by a repetitive melody focused bass and whipped beats revealing a song whereby Exhaustion incorporates structure with the improvisational approach they’re already known so well for.  To my ears at least this is the leap ‘Bikers’ makes from ‘Future Eaters’; it plays with form just as much as formlessness.   Exhaustion are back firing on all cylinders and you can get ‘Bikers’ at all good retailers now! 

Check out opening track 'Blunt Eyes' right HERE

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rodion GA : 'Behind The Curtain - The Lost Album'

In 1975 Rodion GA pioneered a new approach to electronic music from his Romanian home.  Known locally as record hoarder extraordinaire, collating music ranging from a variety of regions played a core part in how his sound evolved.  In the original line up Rodion GA was joined by Gicu Farcas and Adrian Caparu and from the outset Rodion made use of the wide-ranging equipment he’d been amassing.  Incorporating Tesia tape records, drum machines, phasers, flangers, fuzz pedals, a toy Casio VL Tone and Soviet manufactured Faemi organ, the trio forged a radical interstellar style mixing progressive rock, psychedelic and synthesized sound centred by their electronic approach.  Rodion became renowned his DIY approach by employing reel-to-reel tape recorders along with various tape machines and multi-tracks to document work.

The death of Rodion’s mother in 1987 called an unfortunate end to his musical career, and for 25 years he faded into obscurity.  That is until blogger & film maker Luca Sorin focused a piece on Rodion, the exposure opened up possibilities to revive unfinished business 25 years earlier… and it worked.  In 2012 Rodion GA returned with ‘The Lost Tapes’ (Strut Records) plus a RSD 2014 release, and he’s been going strong ever since.   Which brings us to ‘Behind the Curtain – The Lost Album’, 24 recordings spanning highpoints of his career.  The compilation gathers material from ‘The Lost Tapes’ (Strut) and 12 other albums from the late 70s and early 80s that are otherwise nigh-on-impossible to track down.  What makes this fascinating is ‘Behind the Curtain - The Lost Album’ (BBE) was recorded when Romania was still a Communist country, so artists were under heavy censorship rules.  Rodion made these songs whilst constantly worrying about being caught by authorities and had to play a ‘cat and mouse’ game to preserver with his project.  This is a great snapshot of Rodion when he was ON FIRE in the early stages of his song-writing and exhibits his far reaching influence. This resurgence of interest in his work has even seen him deliver a lecture at Bucharest’s Red Bull Academy.  Rodion GA has been recording new music so can’t wait to hear what other leaps forward he’s going to make. Lastly, and most crucially, Rodion is touring Europe and well worth your time for an evening, he’ll be right here in London at Café Oto on November 5th (that's tonight, like in a few hours...!).  Get your tickets HERE