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Zoffy “Thou Shall Not Mess with Zoffy” [Acid Mothers Temple]

Acid knights of the mother temple, guitar god Makoto Kawabata
and madman-genius Atsushi Tsuyama turn psychedelic pranksters
with another Zoffy piece o’ musical taffy. Stretching the
limits of cover songs at the beginning and end, and digging
deep beneath the folk basement. Zoffy deliver ultra-tweaked
gypsy songs cloaked in reverb, humor, birdcalls. A heady
sonic homebrew, that is deceptively ramshackled. (Check
out the headphone tabla bounce on #10, it defies the lo-fi
nature of much of this.) Atsushi is just a radiant being.
All tracks might be covers for what I know, but the further
out the better…the opening/closing numbers pale in
comparison to the gaunt beauty of #2, or the hypnowheel
spin of #7 with crazed keening vocals. While the kids
may dig “Cookie Monster” vocals these days, I sure like
Atsushi’s “Grover” vox on #9. Meanwhile his phrasing on
that tabla-turner #10 sound like a sideways take on Pete
Seeger. With the ney nose-flute, and dueling bouzouki
action, how can you not love this? -Thurston Hunger
Seven seconds of abrupt silence at the end of #13

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 25, 2004 at 2:56 am
  • Filed as A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Ennio Morricone “Psichedelico Jazzistico” [Cherry Red]

    The accent is always on the “MORE” with Morricone, composing
    since 1959 for film, and staggeringly prolific. His style
    which originally might have seemed a bit patchwork is now
    his signature. No one knew just how frightening a little
    girl’s voice could be until Morricone worked with it…his
    use of jagged violins drew me as a major latecomer when I
    first heard him on John Carpenter’s remake of “The Thing”
    well after he was the spice in the Western spaghetti sauce
    that Leone poured over his victims. He’s a trumpet player
    by training, but its his relentless juxtaposition of sound
    that marks him most of all. “Four Velvet Flies” starts off
    with seven seconds of a jazz-church “Alleluiah” into harp
    and before its over we’ve heard those wordless, bodiless
    vocals over harpsichord, ridden past a calliope into R&B
    vamping towards a dual piano romp ending up with a psyche
    jam. That’s *one* track. I love how he can write such
    sweet innocence (#8, #11) but then embrace the twisted
    and wonderful as in #3, #10. He does dizzying panic with
    a sure and untouchable hand, #12. And I still can’t get
    that jaw-harp on #13 out of my ear, that’s sexier than
    the orgiastic climax of this collection.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 10, 2004 at 4:36 pm
  • Filed as Format,CD,Soundtrack
  • Comment on this review
  • Zelienople “Sleeper Coach” [Loose Thread]

    No sophomore slump, just a deeper drop into the coma for this
    Chicago quartet. Stonergaze with stacks of sonic blankets.
    It opens in a wind tunnel, and most following tracks ride on
    solar winds. Guitars can whoosh…especially when washed out.
    Vox are pulled into to the vacuum by way of an anglo(?) accent
    almost forcing a comparison to Slowdive. Although rarely does
    the Z aim for catchiness, happier to just glide. Each lyric
    seems to evaporate before the next, leaving little residue.
    Which is okay, as the band more steadfastly pursues reverbic
    resonance. The sound from beginning to end is consistent.
    Evidently Mike Weis is the drummer, and possibly narcoleptic.
    The mark of a good drummer is to not play certain notes,
    but Mike is able to do so for entire songs. Brian Harding
    not only blows cumulus keyboards but even breathes deep on
    clarinet. Neil Jendon joined the group last, but I think it
    is his puddles of guitar that help Zelienople (named after
    somewhere in PA) find a nice region between drone and pop.
    “Don’t Be Lonely” hits the high-water mark for me, but it
    all stays afloat. As Richard Nixon once Grimble Grumbled,
    “It is indeed a windy city!”

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 10, 2004 at 2:55 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 2 comments


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