Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Afrobeat and lack of beat...

I must admit I've been in a bit of a lull lately as far as finding new music goes. I just got back from Germany, and the only record I bought there was the Fela Kuti record Mr. Follow Follow, which ranks as his second best after Zombie. By the way, Fela Kuti will be the greatest musician of all time. This opinion of mine will never change. Please leave comments, and feel free to agree or disagree to this statement. I kid you not. He is the best.

When I came home, I realized that there wasn't much new stuff I really wanted to hear. The record I ended up buying, The Psychic Nature of Being by Lichens, was even released last year. This record is larger than life. Three tracks, all ten minutes plus - I think - and all recorded live, with no overdubs, which is awesome for an ambient record. Voice manipulation, minimalist guitar - it's all here. It reminds me a lot of some Jim O'Rourke stuff, in some ways.

The one-man ambient unit that is Lichens is TV On the Radio's Robert Lowe. It is a departure, to say the least, from his dance-punk counterparts, and a refreshing one at that; he can go from creating music that emphasizes the concept of "the big beat" to music that has a definite lack of a beat at all. Lichens is more like Deathprod than anything.

Of course, anything put out by Kranky is worth getting. Here's a link. Other fine bands on the roster include Low, Stars of the Lid and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, three of my favourite bands. 'Tis a good label.


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