2009 Album Review Addendum from Rudy M.
(Out Of This Spark)
I can't contain my love for these guys. With their third release, these macabre troubadours make me think of backwoods Gospel without the Gospel. There's something of the South in the spirit of each track; at times I feel as if I'm tiptoeing through a Louisianan Gothic cemetery on a winter's day. Tracks like "Demon Host", "I Get Low" and "Magic Arrow" speak to the lonely wanderer in us all. I had the fortune of seeing this outfit perform last month and witnessed their uncanny ability to mesmerize the audience with their eerie, saloon-ed, vagabond aesthetic. Pass the rye.
Gone: The Promises of Yesterday
Absolutely stellar. Thank you, Numero Group, for proving your worth yet again with one of the most exquisite soul compilations of the year. The band's maestro, Dale Warren, offers a dark yet lush composition of heart-wrenching love songs that leaves everyone I play it for stunned. Naombi Stills' haunting vocals on "I Want To Make Up" sends chills throughout, her pain is so tangible. Hard to imagine these songs hadn't seen the light of day for 35 years.
Awww yeahhh... Stephen Wilkinson culls the forces of myriad genres to create an ensemble of fizzed-out funk, stuttered hip hop, heart-warming folk and beat-savvy electronica all his own. Reminiscent of corduroy vests and argyle sweaters, pimp fur coats and mustard-colored leather, Ambivalence Avenue finds the time and space to journey out into the mountains with a solid pair of boots, the gentlest guitar and a nostalgia for love . A record on heavy rotation for me in 2009. I only wonder, What street do you go down from here?
Frenetic and almost spinning out of control, BLK JKS' debut goes on my list because of it's young, adventurous spirit; it blends jazz, blues, dub, etc. pumping new life into the Prog Rock sound. The four member crew from Johannesburg, South Africa, proves strong and wild, at times letting the horse they rode on take them for the ride. With Hypnotic Brass Ensemble providing triumphant horn calls, After Robots is one of the most unique records I've come across this year.
Check out Rudy's short film he wrote, directed and acted in here.