8/01/2017

Belly Hole Freak - Superfreak




Freaks. There is a certain type of people afraid of freaks. People who would walk other side of the street and trying not to catch eye contact. There are more extreme examples as well. People who would keep all freaks in closed areas. People who would like to get rid of all of the freaks.
Then there is different type. People who associates themselves with freaks and they're trying to get as freaky as they can. Tattoos on eyeballs, fake horns, snake tongues, etc. Doesn't matter how but we were always fascinated with freaks.


Let's go back in time a hundred years. Where you could find freaks? Well, in circus. There were animal tamers, acrobats and clowns in circus. But also other, strange company. Lady with beard. Freak. Toddler with four legs. Freak. Gentleman with massive moustache and muscles big enough to lift couple of town hustlers. Freak. Gypsy clairvoyant. Freak. Girl who eats stones. Freak. Living magnet grandpa with cutlery attracted to his chest. Freak. 
After each show team was partying to release the stress, to relax, within their own company. There was loads of alcohol, rolled cigarettes, music by the circus orchestra so with loads of brass, drums, cymbals. As the band was jumble of different nationalities so the music also was strange. Freaky.


Belly Hole Freak is a superfreak indeed. Mixing old dirty blues with dixie, early swing, bluegrass and latin folk. As his inspirations he lists Howlin' Wolf, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band or Tom Waits. And you can truly find these artists behind his music. But Belly Hole adds to these sounds something even more melancholic, more theatrical, more intriguing and... freaky? Just by the titles of the songs we might have an idea what we'll get here. "Freexiland", "Elastic Fantastic", "Voodoo Soup Monkey", "Vaudeville". Vaudeville is quite good thread as even if it's hard to believe,  Belly Hole Freak is a one man band. Sounds like it's a hundred piece big band without a conductor but it's just him. That's definitely a live act to see. Follow his Facebook to check when his van (I know, it should be caravan) will visit your hometown.



Album "Superfreak" was released as a digital and as a vinyl by Black vagina Records in 2015. It was repressed this year by Skronk Records. I love the front cover. Gives all the atmosphere of freaky circus. I also love the back cover. I like the weight and quality of black record itself as well. I don't like it's labels though. They're just plain, it's a pity but a small disadvantage to whole. And whole is great. Dirty, messy, chaotic, noisy and simply brilliant!










7/28/2017

HELMUT - o u r w a l l s


When you think of German male name, you think of Helmut. I was confused as well, as Helmut's name isn't Helmut. He lives in Berlin as Helmut should, he creates music with strong electronic influences as German musician should. But his name isn't Helmut. It's actually Adrian.


Sometimes I like to say album is "tasty". It's when it isn't much surprising, life changing or exquisite but it is simply faultless and perfectly exact. "o u r w a l l s" is a very consistent and even for an album with such many influences and different threads. It's also minimal and somehow ascetic. You won't be overwhelmed with unnecessary sounds or vocals. Adrian gave us super balanced piece of music with great although modest melodies and massive amount of hypnotic groove. Hypnotic, intimate and very personal.


There is absolutely nothing I would like to change in this album, no fault beat, no overexposed time, it's very considered. Like a nice classic dish, tasty from the first bite till the last one. None of ingredients overpowers the whole taste, all works together as a whole. Guitars, beats, wubs, loops and vocals. Very tasty album.


Record was released on CD and as a limited edition 180 gram double LP. Adrain told me vinyl edition isn't much special, plain and boring. He's wrong. Paper of the cover is high quality, so does black inner sleeves. Records themselves gives nice sensation of a neat production. It's more then I could ask for. Black and white picture fits perfectly with pinky dot on it. I couldn't imagine myself this record on pink vinyl though. That'll too much. Black with pink labels is just enough. All together fits music perfectly. Neat, proper, faultless release. Very tasty stuff, it'll stay in a menu for a while for sure.







7/21/2017

Hugo Kant - Out Of Time


Sometimes you got the album and you're just speechless. That's it. You're trying to be a smart ass, to prove how much you know music, how eloquently you can compare it to other stuff... But you're just speechless. 
That's new Hugo Kant's album "Out Of Time". It'll be a super quick review. There is no point to talk much. When you talk you can't hear the music...


One of my favourites writers of all time Stanislaw Lem wrote a brilliant SF book titled "Return From The Stars". I strongly believe many of latest SF movies were inspired by this novel. One of the strongest moments of it was when main character, an astronaut who just came back from a space mission after over a hundred years on earth (time relativity, you know), was told that humanity learned while ago sending people to the space is pointless and stupid so modern society won't do it anymore. 
We are now at the similar stage of conquering the cosmos. OK, we have some scientist orbiting around the planet but there are no landings on moon anymore. Some doesn't even believe we ever did this! So astronauts became a relic of the romantic times when we were actually sending people into space. Times which inspired so many artists to write books, make movies, music or even radio shows!


Hugo Kant was definitely inspired by these times. "Out Of Time" is a soundtrack to black and white science fiction movie. Starting with "Entering The Black Hole" through "The Earth Dance", "Odissi", "Low Gravity"... Every single track here fits the whole concept. Although album is super diverse! It says it is a trip hop piece. It's like saying David Bowie played guitar. There is such more here. Downtempo beats mixed with jazz bassoons, flutes, accordions, folk incantations, over tone singing or even audio tuned opera vocals. It's like a letter humanity could send to other civilisation. This is who we are, this is all our music mixed together. And it's brilliant. Enjoy! Every single note here has an exact reason. I don't recall such a considered album in a very long time. Goose-flesh guarantee. 


Art work is also brilliant. An astronaut in a space looking at his home planet. He is quite far actually but the most disturbing part is we can't see what he is linked to. Creepy, fascinating and mysterious in a same time. "Out Of Time" was released on double black LP. Heavy well pressed discs sound really great. I think vinyl mastering gave them bit more soft space than digital version which has more bass. 


There is one thing I can't get over though. Both LP's are in regular white inner sleeves and they're both in a single cover. Such an epic, spacious album should be released in a gatefold! Maybe there would be more space to draw what the astronaut is linked to.