World's End Girlfriend – Seven Idiots – 4/5
So it's been a while since I graced this forum with my presence – mostly because I haven't been listening to much new – but this is one release that I'd been intending to get to for quite some time. Mentioned in the same breath as “Kashiwa Daisuke” and his phenomenal Program Music I, this post-rock release takes a leap from the more melancholic works I have of his and delivers something that through the use of glitch is transformed into a piece nonetheless beautiful but altogether more complex. This is not a one-listen release; with the exception of all but the most simplistic of offerings (and even they aren't that simple when you get down to the details) there's a good chance that you won't even comprehend half of what you're being bombarded with, trying to make out that base rhythm that other sounds seem to be leaping off like flippers in a pinball machine, bouncing around in a frantic and unpredictable manner.
Perhaps a trademark of someone adept at using electronic signals to his advantage; the stereo format supports his blissful chaos by having the various musical 'defects' come out of different speakers to emphasise certain passages and disjoint otherwise inherently simplistic passages of mournful keys or enthused violins. There are no vocals here (from an unverified source, I've heard this follows a last minute decision to have them removed, a bold decision made all the more so given the fact was the first to be released on his own record label) and the whole album plays off almost like a progressive piece in the manner it seems intent on 'telling a tale,' complete with its undulating themes and elements that come together to form the whole. There is no predicting the way things will unfold, no accounting for the style of music thrown in; that jazzy saxaphone suddenly being used as vinyl to be scratched, or the way a classical passage suddenly becomes juxtaposed by a drum and bass beat.
The beauty here though, is in the extraction; the frantic chaos of the glitch blips and electronic bloops, the guitar that's never able to quite get its signal across and then as if from nowhere, through the anarchic drum loops bounding between the speakers comes a simple violin passage or piano line that seems to make sense of it all; the contrasting beauty and hopeless chaos playing off one another in a manner that doesn't feel disjointed but rather the other side of the same coin. There are times where this is lost, and even after repeated listens to his “The Offering Inferno” parts make little more sense to me than Sun Ra's “Atlantis,” (which still tops my list as the most batshit insane nonsensical piece of music conceived), and yet even this isn't without its dark atmospheric charm. It's nothing like his past works; its all the more intense and electrifying, and whilst his experimental style doesn't always work, when it does it's like nothing else I've heard. Show me his past efforts and I probably wouldn't have heard much to my liking, but “Seven Idiots” has changed all that.
Highlights: Les Enfente du Paradis, Ulysses Gazer, Bohemian Purgatory
Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Posted by T. Bawden Saturday, 1 January 2011