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Sunday, May 13, 2007

HISTORIAENS: BUFFLE YEARBOOK

This is utterly fabulous:



It's published by a micro-publishing co. called Historiaens set up by Xavier and Benjamin Franklin from Belgian band Buffle. Benjamin also plays in R.O.T. and as Gangalai & Gourabai with Christophe from R.O.T. and also as Berger/Louve. Xavier calls Benjamin "the finest mind of his generation - no joke!".

Xavier explains that the pair of them both studied history and have a fascination with documenting stuff: "The idea is also to publish "historical documents" related to the music scene in one way or another, but always in a funny perspective. (History is very important for Benjamin by the way - if you read french, check his crazy pages about the history of the scene, they're mythical here"). The Buffle Yearbook was a compilation of drawings, photographs and flyers from 2005. The next one is a compilation of comics and drawings by Roope Eronen ('of Lal Lal Lal Records/Avarus infamy' - Kek) made when he was a teenager. A book of Jonna Karanka's teenage drawings is also planned, but no hurry..."

To call the Buffle Yearbook just "a compilation of drawings, photographs and flyers from 2005" is to seriously undersell it...it's a lovely artifact w/ an old school feel to it, like Bart Sloow Tape's My Favourite Magazine. It's chocful of ideas and images (incl. what looks like try-out designs for cassette covers...jeez: I remember us doing all that stuff for our old Void Jazz releases...getting rulers and scalpels and pencils and stuff, making collages, etc): it feels like a little doorway into someone's life...a little piece of history, in fact.

The 3" CD is really great fun too: It starts off with what sounds like fuzzed-up retardo Punk Rock tribalism with one-stick percussion, car-horn noises and bird-like chirrups played on recorders, before the track heads off cross-country like a Daily Mail reading rambler forced to wear bear-skins and forage for food.

On track two, more bird-like keyboard and wind-instrument sounds flutter and flap past each other like a flock of startled startlings, but slowly they all start to come together and fly in time to a clicky-sounding cardboard drum-beat, heading back to their trees for supper...and the organ finally settles on a strident march-like riff while dissonant-sounding blips and ploooops play themselves off against the rhythm. Everyone sits down on the grass and has a quick sandwhich while they get their breath back. Suddenly, they leap to their feet and run off in different directions: it sounds like Devo playing 19th century Sea Shanties w/ a troupe of boy scouts.

Sounds rub up against each other; syncopating polyrhythms drift in n out of time, creating unlikely permutations, like a chorus-line of high-kickin' ants and centipedes doing the Lambeth Walk, all moving at different tempos and with different numbers of legs, but they somehow all get to the same place at the same time. Wobbly flanged synths and glassy-sounding percussion chase after an old drum-machine: the music is teasingly playful, spewing forth more ideas in one song than most mainstream artists come up with in a career.

1 Comments:

At 9:12 am, Blogger St. Anthony said...

I love stuff like that.

 

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