Hear The Track HereThis is actually the second release from 1st Dude (who is German I believe) and - again - information about the artist is lacking on the Astor Bell website but hey, its just geography right? What counts, as always, is the music. Astor Bell's fifth release is a six track (and I quote) 'romp through the padded cell maze that is 1st Dude's brain. Percussive, sample-based originality' Welp, again an accurate description and should give you fair and adequate warning that being inside a mad percussionists brain is not a safe place for those of a nervous temperament. Experimental electronica, hard edged drum and bass and a maddening combination of the two is what is in store and for that - I guess - you may need a strong musical constitution.
I have to admit that my first reaction to this musician wasn't overly positive. Not because I don't like experimental electronica, as regular readers will know, I often champion some very obscure music (for obscure read difficult, awkward). I actually understand the uses of dissonance and cacaphonia in a more than usual way, so music as challenging as 1st Dude's isn't really a problem for me. My real problem came in trying to figure out how much of what I hear was intentional (pre-meditated) and how much of it was a spur of the moment thing. The hardest trick to pull off is, of course, the pre-meditated route. Imagine having to work out all the enormous complexity these tracks contain in your head. Enough to drive anyone crazy, except drummers because everybody knows they are born crazy.
The six tracks that make up Bassid are It's-An Italian!, Black Robin, Did She Whistle?, Swiss Wisard (Riddim), And You and Should I Make It Out (Riddim) and I find it impossible - even after living with this music for a while - to separate out each track. IMHO this is a music project that really should be listened to in full, it certainly seemed to make more sense to me that way, rather than listening to each track in isolation. It isn't that much a stretch either because none of the tracks stretches much past the three minute mark and some come considerably under that. 1st Dude, for sure, is doing stuff that is original, and even 'edgy' in that experimental way. Although I felt unsure about some of this hard-to-get-to-know album, for the most part it didn't make me switch it off, which is what normally happens when I am not understanding a piece of music. Very strange, and often rough sounding experimental electronica.
Recommended nonetheless for those who like the style.