Musically it can be summed up as a set of dusty, “indigenous” desert grooves, acoustic for the most part, incredibly evocative and somewhat soporific music that seems to echo through the back of your mind.
Now this is worth hunting down. Last year we reviewed Stefano Isaia’s - aka Gianni Giublena Rosacroce’s - La Piramide di Sangue: which was an excellent if brief excursion into the musical cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. And now he’s back with a new offering from the same stable. Inevitably (as with all these arty projects) it’s released on a tape, but the artwork is splendid - and it’s worth checking out the artists who did the silkscreened cover, Arrache Toi Un Oeil: http://www.arrachetoiunoeil.com/
Musically it can be summed up as a set of dusty, “indigenous” desert grooves, acoustic for the most part, incredibly evocative and somewhat soporific music that seems to echo through the back of your mind. On Side A (clocking in around 12 minutes) the clarinet’s downbeat warble is initially the main driving element, sweeping up the dry percussion and the slinky guitar run into a mysterious raggle-taggle groove. About 4 minutes in there’s a change of direction, one of Isaia’s poems is read by (we are reliably informed) a Tuareg girl in Fulfulde (the Fula language). After this there’s another twist and the clarinet returns to lead a low moving procession. It might sound incredibly worthy but it’s damned good, hypnotic even. Things perk up with a low grade wedding dance, the clarinet getting frisky at times.
Side B starts with a poem, with some sneaky, Psychicke whisperings in the background. As with the rest of this release, the music sounds like it’s been recorded in another room to the singer. Half way through, things get more structured with a beautiful interplay of clarinet and guitar, which is hypnotic in the extreme. Then we get (animal?) calls leading into a whole host of percussive noises before we’re off on a jazzy stroll. At this point things get very Moondog, but that’s not something I frown on, you ken? Suddenly we are confronted with this low register fuzz tone and things go towards a sort of “world music” take on Glen Branca before sounding like a wobbly Kraftwerk offcut. It’s very mysterious.
A fine and very relaxed listen. You’ll enjoy it despite yourself.