OGH Music

Feb 04
Electropopping and ventriloquizzing

Re Fujiya and Miyagi: Ventriloquizzing LP

Sound is good, a bit bass heavy, bringing forth the electro momentum of the group. The vinyl does not disappoint.

The music? Sometimes very good, but also kept in a kind of boy-room atmosphere, with repetetive themes and lyrics.  The best parts of the LP are certainly a step up from the last album (Lightbulb) but keeps some of the same mixed quality. I am left thinking how come no-one have told them to move on and deconstruct their message? It seems a bit hermetic, isolated, and the tendency to schematic lyrics doesn’t help. At their best, though, the band brings the legacy of krautrock and the group Can further, stepping forward in this tradition, which is a considerable accomplishment by itself.

Jan 23
Depend on me

The once-successful Norwegian group Babel Fish, relocated to Florø Melody Grand Prix, was voted first place into the final yesterday, with a father’s love song to his child, Depend on me.

Jan 17
Sounding great

Amazing sound

Check out the Nik Bartsch Ronin: Lllyria, recent ECM vinyl album (2 x 180 g LP).  The music is good. But what catches the ear is that the sound is outstanding.

I never had this much dynamics from an ECM LP before.  Something must have happened in the studio. Listening to the album from my kitchen, playing in the living room next to it, I several times thought:  “someone must be there”, “what is this”, “sounds coming up more immediate”. In my setup and home, this means an outstanding sound. I think you would get the effect also. There is a substantial sound quality improvement.

I congratulate ECM,  who have been a forwards force in music and sound quality for many years.  I also congratulate Nik and his group, which I did not know before, for an excellent album. There is some pentatonal work here, and I am reminded of works in the same wholistic direction, like  Zappa, mentioned earlier in this blog, and also Ardley, Neil: Kaleidoscope of rainbows, some Can, some Kratwerk, even some Butterfield Blues Band East/West. Time scales brought to the fore – a pure joy, with this kind of great sound.

Dec 26
2010 albums

I am not sure about the best albums of 2010 and won’t say anything about that. This text is only about music that I have enjoyed, that has grasped out to me, in some way.

Gayngs: Related, a great album for pursuing some central pop ideas. Some work out quite good, others so and so.

Tom Petty: Mojo. Graced by its in-room collective playing.

From 2008: Mew: No more stories. Patricia Barber: Mythologies.

Earlier albums enjoyed in2010:

Opeth Blackburry Park, Damnation and others.

Mastodon: Crack the skye, Blood Mountain.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first album.

I also has a bucket of older classics at hand, among these giving good listening last year, e g  Steely Dan: The Royal Scam.

Dec 21
Zappa once more

Despite his puerile, provocative and sometimes sexist lyrics, there is no escaping that Zappa remains a musical giant. Give him the right (underpaid) orchestra, and he would perform on his guitar like a time machine. Amazing fact: I steered ar0und Zappa for fifteen years, 80-95, after an early interest, having got tired of the man’s monochromatic output. Turns out, I was wrong. I started listening seriously to his modernist music about fiften years ago, enjoying greatly his LPs Hot Rats and Waka Jawaka, and others, on the way. Strange that such a megalomaniac didn’t see his own greatest mission as guitarist, but then again, the pieces for his guitar work were not written when he played them, so he had to start the whole thing himself.

Zappa was not a giant, for me, but more like a bit older contemporary, who often took off in odd directions, in the late 60s and 70s, though  I loved parts on his early LPs like “We’re only in it for the money”. All the more enjoyment, therefore, for reassessing these albums anew and getting the taste for his concert work, like Zappa: Guitar (2 x LP from concerts 89-84) and Shut up and play your guitar (3 x LP). Zappa’s instrument work is sometimes too insistent, perhaps too coffein-driven, to my ears, but the musical innovation factor is very good. For biography, cf Miles, Barry 2004: Zappa – a biography, Grove Press, New York