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Carvalho Diablo

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I must say that my own appreciation of country music has greatly altered - for the better in my case - thanks to this thread.

 

One of my very favourite AOWs was the Lucinda Williams record, totally loved that one.

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Fat Freddy’s Drop - Blackbird

 

Have been listening to this quite a lot. It’s summer down here, which is ideal FFD conditions.

Have to agree with @TheHowieLama that they are better live than on record, 
the mix of the different genre types just don’t seem to work quite so well in the structured form. This is still pretty good though.

 

A mate of mine likes to think that he invented the term “skazz”, and he’s pretty impressed with himself about it too.

Fat Freddy’s Drop are good at skazz, they also chuck in a bit of R&B (especially in the vocals) and even a bit of dance/techno sounds.

 

I mostly prefer it when they stick to the skazz on this record, when it’s a live session the mix works a bit better. Also don’t really love the vocals.

Still, I’ll give it a 7/10

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I've been meaning to get a double review up but not been easy to get it done due to family circumstances. More to to do with uncertainty over my sister's husband, who was taken to hospital early December. 

 

It's been going one way then another. It now appears to coin has landed with hospital saying covid has almost certainly attacked his brain stem, kidneys and heart as well as his lungs. Chances of survival once off the ventilator are now low. My sister now has to decide with her husband's brother whether to try and resuscitate or allow him to pass if that happens. Even if he survives, he will be in a care home all his life as he will be paralyzed in every part of his body including neck.

 

To top it off, the hospital are currently saying his sons will not be allowed to see him before he passes. If they stick with that decision it will destroy them.

 

I will try and get a review up but being honest I feel it could be a little half hearted. If people are happy with that I'll get onto that this evening .

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14 minutes ago, Shooter in the Motor said:

I've been meaning to get a double review up but not been easy to get it done due to family circumstances. More to to do with uncertainty over my sister's husband, who was taken to hospital early December. 

 

It's been going one way then another. It now appears to coin has landed with hospital saying covid has almost certainly attacked his brain stem, kidneys and heart as well as his lungs. Chances of survival once off the ventilator are now low. My sister now has to decide with her husband's brother whether to try and resuscitate or allow him to pass if that happens. Even if he survives, he will be in a care home all his life as he will be paralyzed in every part of his body including neck.

 

To top it off, the hospital are currently saying his sons will not be allowed to see him before he passes. If they stick with that decision it will destroy them.

 

I will try and get a review up but being honest I feel it could be a little half hearted. If people are happy with that I'll get onto that this evening .

Christ mate that’s terrible.

Don’t feel any obligation to this thread, just take of you and yours.

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Review: Fat Freddy's Drop - Blackbird

 

New to me...[presses play]

 

Opening with the title track, at 09:30, the album starts with a synthy bass and reggae beat, quite hypnotic, giving way to a Latin influenced keyboard lick, before the vocal kicks in and suddenly the whole thing reminds me of a Sarf Landan urban reggae thing.

Not bad, not bad at all.

 

Russia is a bit slower with a great groove. The drums and bass are phat as phuk and I love that occasional wah'd guitar and the heavily reverbed snare hits.

I like this one too.

 

Clean The House starts with a happy guitar riff, then the beat drops and this sounds very familiar - was this a hit single? I'm sure I've heard this somewhere before.

I like the beat, I like the vocal and the riff. Another thumbs up.

 

Silver and Gold. A straightforward rock beat with reggae up strokes.

One criticism I've got (so far) is that the singer seems to be singing within himself, rather than letting rip.

Weakest track so far.

 

Bones shuffles in and that trumpet lick rips off Curtis Mayfield's Freddie's Dead (love that song).

Bass and drums excellent again.

 

Soldier, again I feel like the singer is holding back instead of letting rip and really going for it.

Weakest track so far.

 

Never Moving. Interesting synthy swells put me in mind of Bernard Hermann's Taxi Driver.

Rhythmic and hypnotic, trancey and dancey, definitely different.

I can easily imagine people going mad to this live.

Drags a bit though. Could do with trimming down by a couple of minutes.

 

At 9 minutes long, Mother Mother is another long track.

The rhythm tracks on this record are all as tight as a gnat's chuff. I'd like to think that's down to superior musicianship and not simply Pro-Tools manipulation. Whatever, these tracks are impressive.

Mother Mother is busy and a tad faster, giving a carnival feel.

Best song yet.

 

Closer, Bohannon, clocks in at 7:20, this is a long album.

The beat is lovely on this, deep deep down inside a filthy 4/4 pocket where rock meets disco.

Love that hi hat and guitar.

 

So then, can't say that I'm a reggae fan but I did enjoy Blackbird, very much.

 

The album would have benefited from being shorter with perhaps some lighter moments but, conversely, it shobe brightest in those deeper heavier closing tracks.

 

Really impressed. A good pick.

 

7.5/10

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2 hours ago, Carvalho Diablo said:

Any more reviews to come for Blackbird by Fat Freddie's Drop?

 

Don't know about you but I'm itching to get stuck into a new one.

 

Who's next to pick too?

It’s me I think. 
I’ve been sitting on this one for 6 months or so since I first listened to it. It’s Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar.

Some guitar playing from Niger, anyone?

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/3ZZMK1Hd8E9Uzj1Tycdlf2?si=Pf6acutwQn6arJ-w1parJQ
 

 

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10 minutes ago, Jose Jones said:

It’s me I think. 
I’ve been sitting on this one for 6 months or so since I first listened to it. It’s Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar.

Some guitar playing from Niger, anyone?

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/3ZZMK1Hd8E9Uzj1Tycdlf2?si=Pf6acutwQn6arJ-w1parJQ
 

 

You'll do for me mate.

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Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar

 

Chismiten - The album starts with this crazy electric guitar in a scale/ mode I'm not familiar with. The voices are all African language. Upon first impression, it sounds like Bombino. I like Bombino, so I'm all ears. The guitar is very psychedelic and dreamlike. The drums stay in the same rhythm throughout the track, occasionally branching off into fills. The track suddenly morphs at 3.15 into a Santana Black Magic Women-esque outro. Explosions of sound. Cymbals start crashing. Big open chords. 8/10

 

Taliat - It'd be interesting to find out what scale the guitarist plays in because it's so alien to Western ears. It feels like Axis Bold as Love merged with African music theory. It's a beautiful sound. 7/10

 

Ya Habibti - This one starts with an acoustic guitar. It's got the strongest songwriting ethic on the album so far. I don't understand the words, but the vocal melody is much more robust in this one. Harmonies on the vocals really bring up the chorus. The translation says the chorus is "oh my love, my heart beats fast, when I think of you". It's a song about being infatuated with a girl. 8/10

 

Tala Tannam - This is similar to the previous track. Almost a lullaby. Reading the lyrics, there's an unpretentiousness to the lyrics. It's all about being in love. It would seem corny to hear those words in English speaking songs, but the language barrier creates a degree of separation where you can just appreciate a lovesong for what it is. 7/10

 

Untitled - Throwaway track. Pointless really. A woman is tending to a goat with a cool little electric guitar part over it. Doesn't go anywhere. 2/10

 

Asdikte Akal - The psychedelic guitar is back. The open barre chords. This is a song about his homeland. There's lots of imagery of deserts and crossing great plains to be with his love. There's a strong melody and chorus to this one. At around 3.20, it explodes into a guitar outro. 7/10

 

Layla - I don't know whether this song is about an actual gazelle or the gazelle is a metaphor for a woman - I'd hazard a guess it's the latter, but I kind of want it to be about a gazelle. "Layla, that we love, that I love, even more, Layla". Strong melodic sensibility to this one as well. Not as good as the others. 6/10

 

Afrique Victime - title track. "Africa is the victim of so many crimes; if we stay silent it'll be the end of us", starts the song. It sounds like a sermon delivered on the top of a mountain. The song mentions Mandela and Gaddafi. It asks who is Africa entrusted to now? This is the best song on the record from a commercial standpoint. Everything is tight on this, and the production on this track is the best on the record. The guitar goes off at 4 minutes. It's the best guitar interlude on the record. It speeds up. The guitar sounds like the guy from Police Academy that mimics the guitar with a microphone. It's coming from another dimension. The drums get faster and faster as the track goes on. This is straight-up Maggot Brain territory guitar-wise. 7/10

 

Bismilahi Atagah - This one is about God. That everything in life is done with God's will. Basically, to put God first. Another pleasant track that just floats along. The last sounds of the record are the sounds of someone walking away 6/10

 

Conclusion

 

Overall I enjoyed the record. The instrumentation and scales were not something I commonly experienced listening to mostly Western music. The standout track for me was Chismitten because it had that 70's Santana vibe. The outro specifically appealed to me. I thought the record started much stronger than it ended. Some tracks were pure filler and should've been removed. Overall it was an enjoyable listen. You should check out Bombino's Nomad album if you like this album. My favourite track is Mahegagh (What Shall I Do), although it's not on that album. Both Bombino and Mdou Moctar come from Niger, Africa.

 

 

Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar7/10

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Yea, nice that. @Boss the sound you are referring to is modal - the Santana tune he is in the Dorian mode. 

The Taliat track sounds like some Phrygian stuff based off the 5th.

 

Looking at the fella it is hard not to think Hendrix.

 

 

 

The drummer is on

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25 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

Yea, nice that. @Boss the sound you are referring to is modal - the Santana tune he is in the Dorian mode. 

The Taliat track sounds like some Phrygian stuff based off the 5th.

 

Looking at the fella it is hard not to think Hendrix.

 

 

 

The drummer is on

I believe he is known as the Saharan Hendrix, so good pick up that Howie. 

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10 minutes ago, Jose Jones said:

I believe he is known as the Saharan Hendrix, so good pick up that Howie. 

In my uni days, one of my housemates said that Finlay Quaye was Scotland's answer to Hendrix when he got back from the concert. 

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9 minutes ago, Jose Jones said:

I believe he is known as the Saharan Hendrix, so good pick up that Howie. 

Alot of classic surf sound in this vid as well. If anyone is a guitar player notice that this mad bastard is picking everything with his forefinger - I think with upstrokes only. Ouch.

 

One time would like to get as loose as the little fella @ 1:07 - 

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On 24/01/2022 at 20:34, Jose Jones said:

It’s me I think. 
I’ve been sitting on this one for 6 months or so since I first listened to it. It’s Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar.

Some guitar playing from Niger, anyone?

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/3ZZMK1Hd8E9Uzj1Tycdlf2?si=Pf6acutwQn6arJ-w1parJQ
 

 

I sometimes have a wee look in here & love that video Howie posted, going to check the album out properly tomorrow.

 

Repped.

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So the funeral of the brother in law has been set for February 18th. I intend to listen to and write up on the last three albums between now and then. Could be a welcome distraction from the events leading up to his passing and now to the cremation and funeral.

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39 minutes ago, Shooter in the Motor said:

So the funeral of the brother in law has been set for February 18th. I intend to listen to and write up on the last three albums between now and then. Could be a welcome distraction from the events leading up to his passing and now to the cremation and funeral.

Really sorry to hear that mate, condolences.

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Finally got round to a second listen to Beastmilk, Climax. 

 

The first time I listened to it, I thought it was OK. Then one of my favourite random songs that pops up on my playlist (The Killing Moon by Echo & The Bunnymen) popped up. I love listening to that song, dark yet romantic.

 

On second listen to this album, I couldn't help but think of Echo & The Bunnymen. So listening to the album again changed with that filter on and I really enjoyed it. Dark, romantic and angry in that order. Less angry than dark, more romantic than angry, more dark than romantic.

 

No track by track review here or the next two reviews but I'm happy to have listened again to this. Gets a 7.5/10 from me.

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Review: Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime

 

Never heard of the bloke.

 

[presses play]

 

Afrique Victime starts with Chismiten, a bit of an up temp jangle fest. The bass and drums strangely remind me a bit of The Stone Roses, the guitars have a lovely jangle.

The "African sound" is prominent. Different. Good start.

 

Taliat is next, a touch slower but still in possession of a slightly off rhythm.

No idea what he's singing about but I like the vocal melody.

Refreshingly different. 2/2

 

Ya Habibti has a lovely sounding acoustic intro and that bass sounds fat and full.

Well performed, recorded and mixed but the album is suffering from some loudness clipping, a phenomenon I mentioned when reviewing the Lucinda Williams album, but it's far more pronounced here. Doesn't let the music breathe or do it justice, like strapping a lass with cracking bangers into a corset.

 

Tala Tunnam. Another happy sounding acoustic and more off beat rhythm. I like that, and another enjoyable vocal melody, especially in that catchy chorus.

 

Untitled is just a throwaway bit of guitar twanging. Tasty twanging though, had to be said.

 

Asdikte Akal. Mdou's getting his money's worth from that phaser pedal, it does grate after a little while though mate.

Watching the little video clips on Spotify, his gigs look sweaty and fun.

 

Might just be my western ears but these tunes are all starting to sound very similar, with phaser, off beats, hypnotic vocals.

 

Layla - is that actually a guitar he's playing here or some other stringed instrument?

What time signature is this? 4/3? Again, very African.

I really like how the vocal line drops and mimics the music closely, rhythmically and melodiously.

 

The title track has the best vocal on the whole album imo, a glorious melody which just begs the listener to join in and sing along.

Just checking the translated lyrics and they reference both Gaddafi and Mandela, the African struggle. I find this mildly surprising because that melody is just so uplifting

Best song yet, excellent.

 

Busmilahi Atagha closes the album with more off tempo percussive beats and bass guitar.

Pleasant but too long.

 

To my recollection at least, Afrique Victime is only the 2nd album of African music that we've had up for review in the club, the being the Fela Kuti live album, which I must say I enjoyed far more tbh.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy this album, I did, but I just found it a bit repetitive.

Stand out track for me was the title track itself, loved that one.

 

Excellent pick Jose, 7/10 seems about right.

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Was just listening to Asshet Akal this morning - great track from his previous record - well worth a listen

 

 

Layla is in 6/8 - a few of these are. He also loves him some harmonic minor scale.

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