I meant to write about these records weeks ago, but Ashlee Simpson distracted me. Here are the new and rediscovered foreign accents that have been rocking the iPod lately. Brazil’s Lô Borges, Germany’s Kreidler, Spain’s Musica Dispersa/Sisa, and Canada’s Feist…
LÔ BORGES Lô Borges
Kevin from Other Music totally reeled me in with this description: “There are a few records … you know, the kind where when you hear them you think to yourself, why isn’t this taught in schools? How could I have missed this one all these years? Do I really need to keep all of these other records? The sheer joy of this record is really beyond description. I cannot recommend a record more. Best reissue of 2004 by far!” Salomão Borges Filho (of Clube da Esquina) released his solo debut as Lô Borges in 1972. The jazz guitar work is magnificent, and arranged as meticulously as anything Steely Dan’s done. This lush Brazillian pop masterpiece is more accessible than you might imagine. It’s a lost classic, start to finish. Recommended if you like Os Mutantes or even Buena Vista Social Club.
Lô Borges – “Homem De Rua”
Lô Borges – “Pra Onde Vai Você?”
KREIDLER Eve Future Recall
Kreidler’s latest is a wintry, instrumental adventure featuring complex layers of vibes, woodwinds, electronic blips, and restrained bass from Stefan Schneider (who is also in Krautrock faves To Rococo Rot). The soundscapes here are warm, but constructed with robotic precision; I imagine them as a soundtrack to an eerie sci-fi flick. Or, strangely enough, the soundtrack to a Japanese restaurant. Good ambient electronica to work to. Even better to nap to.
Kreidler – “Whom The Bell Tolls”
Kreidler – “Cervantes”
JAUME SISA Orgia
MUSICA DISPERSA Musica Dispersa
The full albums offer a hit-or-miss listening experience, but there are enough gems on each to make them worth searching out. (I bought Sisa, then learned Ian bought Musica Dispersa, so we traded). Juame Sisa was the guitarist in MD, who released their sole psych-folk album in 1970. It’s sung in the then prohibited Catalan language, so I don’t understand a word, but I’m told the lyrics reflect the socio-political struggles that were sweeping Spain at the time. Sisa’s solo album came out later that year, and is a bit more focused (I like it better than MD). Largely acoustic, with hand percussion, both albums are sonically adventurous (Sisa’s band rocks out to a typewriter on one track). Perhaps you don’t have enough Spanish acid folk on your iPod.
Sisa – “Carrer”
Musica Dispersa – “Hanillo”
FEIST Let It Die
Leslie Feist has sung with Broken Social Scene, Kings Of Convenience, Mocky, and Peaches (her former roommate), which is indicatve of her intention not to limit herself stylistically. Her official site claims Feist’s inspiration is Jhai (“a detached manner of singing especially suited to very emotional material. The emotion is underplayed, never quite let’s go and leaves room for the listener to crawl inside.”) If that’s too little hippy-dippy for you, let’s call her the anti-Ashlee. Other Music Newsletter says: “I can guarantee that before too long you will hear this in every lounge, cafe, and salon, from New York to Tokyo to Paris.”
Feist – “Mushaboom”
Feist – “Mushaboom (Mocky Remix)”
Special thanks to the guys who write the OM Update, especially Gerald, who set aside for me a copy of the now sold-out Sisa. You must check out his Burnside Project, which I can recommend in good conscience because I’ve been listening to them for months, long before I met him. Totally inventive and catchy, these cuts quickly became fixtures on my iPod. Recommended if you like clever wordplay and the music of genre-hoppers Broken Social Scene.
Burnside Project – “He Never Knew The Benefits Of Caffeine”
Burnside Project – “Congratulations”
…and if you were The Federlines for Halloween, send me your pics! I’ve received a bunch from some of you already (all great). I will post them soon.