Qebo - Wroln
(Low Impedance Recordings LoZ10)
I never really managed to get into the whole 'clicks and cut' and 'glitch' thing that was happening a few years back. It wasn't really that I didn't like it, it was more that I didn't really get it. Occasionally however something would cross my path that would catch my attention. As things have quietened down in that scene this has happened less and less. Qebo are a nice exception to this trend. He / she / them or it (I know not which it is) has produced an absorbing and intriguing set. Qebo avoids the obvious pitfall by keeping the rhythms as an important element of the actual piece and by not allowing them to disappear in a poly-rhythmical morass. The melodies are likewise simple and engaging.
It's still all a bit too abstracted and clinical to get me dancing round the campfire but it is, on the whole, rather good.
Quetev Meriri - Quetev Meriri
(Gush Punk A)
There was an advert that ran on UK T.V. throughout the 70's and 80's for a sickly sweet chocolate bar based on (and called) Turkish Delight (it tastes nothing like it in case you're wondering). It carried the slogan 'Full of eastern promise.' which is the phrase that jumped into my head when I first played this album by Israeli trio Quetev Meriri. Their experimentalism is very much based in the folk music and instrumentation of their region and is, I think, the stronger for it.
This trio create a wonderfully atonal, clanging, driven (and driving) tumult of sound based around what for the most part sound like stringed instruments being used and abused in all manner of interesting and fun ways. Sitting on top of this aural soup are the chanted texts of various poets. For the most part these dirge like vocals are the low point of the album. Their pointlessness preventing me for fully submerging in the music. Regular readers will recognise though that I am rarely complimentary about vocals (particularly, as we have here, improvised vocalising) so my opinion is to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.
The music though is an interesting excursion through these musicians collective sensibilities and fans of outfits such as Volcano The Bear will find much to love here.
(almamusic AT gmail.com)
Quetev Meriri - Al Xurvot HaAviv
(Gush Punk A)
I first encountered the psychedelicised soundswirl of QM's music the other year on their self titled album. It was a fun set of experimental folk spoilt slightly by the vocals. This time out the vocals (sung in Hebrew - I think) are far more in keeping with the music and the album as a whole is all the better for it.
'Al Xurvot HaAviv' is a despairingly dissonant album that, while retaining some of the organic free-folk feel of the previous album, has benefited from the addition of new layers of discordant and unnerving instrumentation, crashing atonalities and malformed melodies. QM have mutated their music into a beautiful hybrid of the most outrageous rock music with shades of The Residents, Volcano the Bear and Current 93.
It's a brutally psychedelic cocktail of vivid colours and acutely unpredictable and probably slightly poisonous ingredients that won't kill you but will certainly fuck you up very nicely indeed!
Quetev Meriri - Qsamim LeSevel
We've been visited here at Wonderful Wooden Reasons twice before by these Israeli troubadours and it's with open arms and a joyful smile we welcome them back again.
Quetev Meriri produce a psychedelic free-folk explorative music that is just so deliciously addictive it ought to come with a warning.
The line-up as detailed on the press sheet is deceptively normal - singer, bassist, guitarist, drummer - but there are a plethora of other instruments layered throughout the mix, piano being the most readily obvious. Musically it is by turns beautiful, poignant, ugly, angry, perplexed, joyful, belligerent and more. At it's core are a selection of fairly gentle folk(ish) songs that have been realised in the most sensational of ways. Sounds trip over each other in order to make themselves known and have their say, textures establish and collapse in the passing of a thought whilst colours swirl and flash creating patterns that are almost painfully beautiful to behold.
This is a stunning piece of work. I'm writing this at the very end of January and I think I may have already heard the best album I'm going to hear this year.