Saturday, 17 January 2009

Feeling Like An Oldman

Oldman is Charles-Eric Charrier, a musician who loves working in many artistic fields having collaborated with painters, choreographers and film directors. Among his past allies Rob Mazurek, Mathias Delplanque and The Clogs are at least familiar names on these shores. The six pieces in Two Heads Bis Bis (Low Impedance) are built upon the typical bass/guitar/drums trio format, with the addition of various types of interference under the guise of incomprehensible voices, kind-of-psychedelic contrary motions, Rick Wright-ish organs and a general sense of indistinctness underlying the whole. Let’s be totally frank: some of this stuff might be OK as a background to other kinds of activity, such as smoking pot (which I proudly declare of not doing) but not that much of real musical value was found by this greying reviewer. Maybe a problem lies in the fact that Oldman placed the ugliest tracks right at the beginning, instantly rubbing my patience the wrong way: in particular, the initial “Broken Teeth” is atrocious, unintelligible vocal mumbling à la Contrastate over worn out acid pseudo-blues patterns. “Dust” is instead a nice enough blend of Eastern string instruments and resonant hallucinations ending with sparse piano notes elongated by reverb, one of the rare interesting moments of the disc. It doesn’t save the day – the overall level ranges between average and mediocre. Thus the press release: “This is what popular music would be like in an ideal world”. Quintessential pop star Boy George would respond “Do you really want to hurt me?”.