Archive for the Experimental/Avant-garde Category

Faust – Faust

Posted in Experimental/Avant-garde on January 20, 2011 by evilpacman18

Krautrock; 1971

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^My upload

It was hard to pick an album to do first after taking such a long break. Mostly because I hadn’t listened to anything in so long. I also wanted to add to one of the genre sections that I’ve been ignoring. Which is basically everything but Rock. I’m kind of cheating here, this is technically Experimental Rock but I like to think of it as Experimental music with Rock influences where as Rock music with Experimental influences would be more like Mr. Bungle or Portal. Krautrock is what the movement of German Avant-garde Rock musicians in the 70s was called. I don’t know much about it but I think Faust is one of the bigger names to emerge from it. The album is three songs long. Why Don’t You Eat Carrots? clocks in at 9:34. Meadow Meal is unfortunately the shortest song on the album at 8:05. And the last track on the album is Miss Fortune at 16:36.

Why Don’t You Eat Carrots is an interesting choice as the first track. It seems more like a closer. It begins with noises. As every Experimental song must. The noises sound like (probably are) guitar feedback, in the same vein as Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. There’s static and different voices fading in and out, like trying to find a working station on a radio with no signal. There’s some piano played before it kicks into this bizarre circus tune. I’ve never seen Stephen King’s IT but I understand it’s a horror movie involving clowns. I’d imagine this tune would be extremely appropriate for a scene where an evil clown jumps out of nowhere with a knife. Trumpets and expressionist chord structures. It becomes the overall theme of the song for a couple reasons. About 4 minutes of the song are spent on it including the outro and a big chunk of the middle. It’s also one of the few instances of music on the song. If I was asked to hum the song, I would hum the trumpet part, since humming guitar feedback and radio static is probably pretty hard.

Meadow Meal also starts off with noises. Surprise, surprise. Echoes of drums and chimes and a piano. Vocals come in around 2:35. They’re in English even though the band is German. You could confuse the band for a British Prog band at this point of the song. Slightly after the third minute begins it’s clear that this is the most Rock-ish song on the album. There’s some really great guitar and organ work with drums forming a good backing although they’re edited to be pretty quiet. There’s a guitar riff and solo for about a minute and a half. And then back to noises. The sound of a thunderstorm, this time. The song ends with a Baroque-style organ solo.

Finally, Miss Fortune, which actually doesn’t start with noises. It starts where the Baroque-style organ left off as drums and guitar come in again. Guitar feedback here, but not as grating as in the first track. It goes into a sort of feedback solo that’s pretty unique. Around the 7th minute the song picks up again after a bit of a silence at the end of the guitar solo. The drums kick in finally and the drummer gets a chance to shine, which he does well. Then there’s one more guitar solo that’s ended abruptly by an interruption from the piano. There’s a few more noises and the song ends with a poem read by two of the band members, word by word, which I thought was a fit ending even though I would have liked the opening track to end it instead.

So why should you listen to this? Well, it requires a bit of patience. It’s a good album for people who already enjoy atonalities and overused musical eccentricities. I wouldn’t say it could be a good bridge into the genre however Meadow Meal can function as a solid Rock song and is probably the most accessible song. If you do enjoy Experimental stuff though, you’re in for a treat, there’s some really great sounds on here, it’s almost a mix of The Residents and King Crimson and Metal Machine Music. Prog Rock influences are present but there’s no denying that this album focuses mainly on more grotesque sounds.

1. Why Don’t You Eat Carrots?
2. Meadow Meal
3. Miss Fortune

Stand-out track:
Meadow Meal

-Jerry

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music

Posted in Experimental/Avant-garde on October 25, 2010 by evilpacman18

Noise; 1975

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^Now my own upload. The original link I gave was broken, apparently.

According to the allmusic review of this album (the reviewer gave it one star out of five), Lou Reed said “Well, anyone who gets to side four is dumber than I am.” That’s probably because this is over an hour long of NOTHING but random noises from a guitar. This isn’t music, this is pure noise and nothing more. There’s no melodies, no time signatures, no structure, no emotion, etc. Everything that music is made of is totally absent on this album.

“The album made Reed a laughing stock in the rock industry…” according to Wikipedia. I can see why. In case you didn’t know, Lou Reed is the only person in The Velvet Underground whose name is worth knowing.  “The Velvet Underground & Nico” their debut album, is considered one of the first and most influential Avant-garde Rock albums. So yeah, Lou Reed was pretty respected before this. He was already known as experimental but this is going a bit overboard.

Now then. NOT SAYING IT’S BAD! It’s actually really interesting. Good luck getting through the whole thing in one listen without your ears beginning to bleed but if this whole thing could be condensed into less than 5 minutes as a single track on an album where the other songs weren’t as jarring, it would possibly be one of the better tracks on the album. This is good stuff, it’s just too long, too senseless, and too random to be a whole hour+ long album.

Reviewing this album was suggested by Distance Equals Rape Times Crime.

1. Metal Machine Music Part 1
2. Metal Machine Music Part 2
3. Metal Machine Music Part 3
4. Metal Machine Music Part 4

Stand-out tracks:
It’s pretty impossible to differentiate between them.

-Jerry

Portal – Swarth

Posted in Experimental/Avant-garde on September 20, 2010 by evilpacman18

Avant-garde/Blackened Death Metal; 2009

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This is not for the faint of heart. Not even Confessor comes close to the amount of taste you have to acquire to enjoy this album. At first, it will sound like noise. It will. No matter how much Br00tal Kult Metal you listen to, you will have a hard time believing this is music. I know nothing about the guitar but I wouldn’t say this is the most complex stuff ever. It’s a lot of fast strumming random, disgusting chords. And disgusting is the only way I can describe some of the sounds on this album. The melodies are putrid. And there ARE melodies, you’ll find once you listen to this a couple times. They’re not very musical. This album actually bored me the first time I listened to it because all the songs sounded the same to me. I liked it as soon as I heard it, I just thought it was boring. But as I listened to it more, the songs started to gain their own identities. The drummer is just like LOL BLAST BEATS and he does a lot of that. When he pulls out some slower double bass, you’ll really feel it, particularly in the opening to Omenknow and somewhere in Writhen. I looked up the lyrics for the opening track. The first ‘verse’ goes:

“Hypertrophous Aperture
Deleterious Nucleate
Memetic Cacoethe”

Then I looked up all 6 of those words in the dictionary(.com) to see if any of it made any sense. Only half of them were in it (aperture, deleterious, and nucleate) . It’s safe to say most of the song is gibberish I think.

This album literally sounds like hell.

1. Swarth
2. Larvae
3. Illoomorpheme
4. The Swayy
5. Writhen
6. Omenknow
7. Werships
8. Marityme

Stand-out tracks:
Illoomorpheme
Larvae
Writhen

-Jerry

The Residents – Duck Stab/Buster & Glen

Posted in Experimental/Avant-garde on September 14, 2010 by evilpacman18

Avant-garde; 1978

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Alright here’s how this is gonna work. I’m not gonna review this album. You’re just gonna watch this video. Then you’re gonna be like LOLWUT and you’re gonna click the download link for more. Also, if you would leave a post describing your reaction to the video, I think it would be pretty funny.

1. Constantinople
2. Sinister Exaggerator
3. The Booker Tease
4. Blue Rosebuds
5. Laughing Song
6. Bach Is Dead
7. Elvis and His Boss
8. Lizard Lady
9. Semolina
10. Birthday Boy
11. Weight-Lifting Lulu
12. Krafty Cheese
13. Hello Skinny
14. The Electrocutioner

Stand-out tracks:
Constantinople
Krafty Cheese
Blue Rosebuds

-Jerry