Yep, yep. Another band has just appeared among those who chose to advertise, give away for free and sell deluxe copies of their music through the Internet. Paaliaq, I salute to you!
Of course, in the very beginning I was afraid of the quality of music. Not of the sound. Of the very music itself. It is pretty different when such acknowledged artists as Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead distribute their music through the Internet. In this case it is often combined with legal problems and a growing frustration with the record industry. Many journalists noticed the problem of entering the market by a completely unknown artist. Let’s face it. If you don’t know the musicians and you see that they’re happy, if you download their music (legally, of course), there is a slight anxiety coming with that package. You may think and, let’s be honest, you do think: “Awright then, hereby I state that I am going to download a shitload of crap that I will not be even able to listen through”. The beauty of the Internet, however, makes you immediately add: “And it’s for free. Meh…”
So, sure, I was a little anxious cause I couldn’t tell if Paaliaq would be a shitload of crap or a mesmerizing discovery. And? Well, I blame it on the good days, nice weather, feeling cool and relaxed, blah-blah-blah, but for the past few days I was extremely lucky with music and everything I touched turned either to gold or silver at least. I discovered the amazing Absolace, adored the new record of Seefeel and now this. Either I lost my ear or I became some kind of a musical Queen Midas.
Paaliaq IS mesmerizing. What annoys me the most is that I absolutely cannot find any info about them. I’m digging through gigabytes of data and, unfortunately, little I can find. I’m not even sure if it’s “them”. It could be one single guy. The Paaliaq facebook page claims: “I am gathering my music into albums, to be released during 2011″. So it could be one person. All we know is that it’s an artist/s from London, who defines his/their music as “rocktronica”.
What caught my eye though is that the debut album Keepi was released on January. The second one, Zosma, is out now. There are at least two more coming up this year. If all of them are as good as Keepi, then I’m going to face a serious problem here. Wanting to write about each and every one of them, I’d have to devote the whole year of 2011 to Paaliaq. God knows how much of “my music” was gathered! Obviously, I cannot focus on Paaliaq only (LOL). But I will write a bit about Keepi and I will update you on the other releases by Paaliaq.
Keepi is absolutely amazing. Among the influences Paaliaq names e.g. dEUS, the Cinematic Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman, Björk, Massive Attack and many more. All of this is true, however, I’d add Radiohead to it. Cause Paaliaq, remaining an electro band (what the hell is “rocktronica” anyway?), is still very true to the roots of the British alternative rock. It actually reminds me of the crucial moment in Radiohead’s career when guys decided to shift from being “I-don’t-know-what-but-it’s-not-britpop-still-not-enough-to-be-rock” to a more experimental route that redefined their music and their artistic career in general. Well, I wouldn’t say Paaliaq is as innovative as the electro experiences of Radiohead. But it is somewhere in between. It’s somewhere in the Radiohead shift.
Moody, ballad-like melodies played mainly by guitar and/or piano, pretty classical and, therefore, almost tribal, ritual-like drumming (which, actually, reminds me of Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground) with a pretty cool electro noise from time to time. An interesting male voice that leads the whole. All of it makes a great experience. I was surprised that a debut album could be so well arranged and performed. On the other hand, as I mentioned before, noone knows for how many years was this music performed and gathered. It’s really hard to say if we can treat it like a debut album or not ;-]
The minor flaw of Keepi is perhaps the fact that in some of the cases instrumental pieces are slightly worse than the rest. This is something that is very distracting or annoying even. Right after a pretty mediocre Ascension which is rather blunt we receive a beutifully simple and touching Eel Moon. Of course, albums are full compositions with a structure and their role is not being greatest hits or highlights of… However, I found it disturbing that innovative and inspired tracks (e.g. Vangueria or Inhale Exhale as one of my favorites) are compiled together with pretty boring ones. Maybe that’s the point of “gathering music into albums”? An album is not only a gathering, it’s a whole process of creation. This is one sole fault of Keepi. It is amazing but you can tell that some pieces do not fit the puzzle and perhaps it would have been wiser to be much more strict with choosing the tracks for the album.
No other mistakes noticed. I rest my case. And do download Paaliaq. It’s worth it. A really good piece of alternative shit! You’d be surprised!
To enter the Paaliaq official website (where you can download Keepi for free), click here.