Tag Archives: debut

the noble art of giving your music away for free

8 Feb

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.

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straight from… Dubai

6 Feb

Who would have guessed that Facebook adds actually serve some purpose? And that the advertised music can be soooo damn good?
Who would have guessed that you can get one of the best albums of the previous year from… Dubai?
Hah! You don’t believe me, don’t you?

Personally I hate Facebook adds and I never pay attention to them. If I ever do, it usually means they have to be utterly stupid to focus my attention. However, an add for a band called Absolace haunted me for a while and at some point, though I get lots of music adds, I decided to give it a try. And I was blown away totally! Their debut album, Resolve[d], was released last year (sometime early summer but cannot find exactly when) and, oh, what a shame, I found out about it only now 😦

A rather unknown band from Dubai, consisting of different members – a multicultural taste (Arab vocalist, Greek drummer, American guitarist/bassist/pianist) – this is what Absolace is. And it’s just amazing.

Ok, I have to admit that guys are not revealing nothing that we don’t know already. The similarity to other contemporary art/prog rock/metal groups influenced by Middle Eastern rhythms is obvious. Especially Tool resemblances are huge! Still, I have to admit that in the world in which, really, nothing new is created and everyone copies after other musicians, I have to admit that guys from Absolace chose a real hard way. After all, copying Tool (even if it is a copy) is aiming at the stars. And, well, you gotta learn, right? Why not learn from professionals? 😉

On the other hand, I would probably defend Absolace as a unique thing. The similarities are there, ok. Each band has its own masters and influences. Absolace, however, being very Tool-ish remains geniuine. First of all, the amazing voice of Nadim Jamal. He has a natural way of singing. Not streching his vocal cords, not trying to pretend anything. This simplicity proves to be actually far more emotional than any screams. Although, when needed, sure he can scream. Luckily, we’re past the 1980’s and nobody expects rock and metal singers to pretend they’re having constipation (Brian Johnson of AC/DC and Axl Rose for instance, though, as a child of the 1980’s I have a little sympathy for Rose). Jamal is just amazing in this. The simplicity of melodic lines and the natural way in which he uses his voice create something which is just touching.

The other thing is that – however weird it may sound since Tool is a very progressive and experimental band and has always been – Absolace seems to be more eager to experiment with electronics. Sure, it’s not industrial and the electro tunes do not go far beyond a pretty simple synthesizer. Still, it adds a nice prog-spice to the whole.

And speaking of Dubai… not all of the rhythms come from the Middle East or traditional Arabic music. Some of the tracks will really surprise you by how true they are to the American rock tradition.

Just enjoy. You will love it! Honestly – I did.
And, please, do share this information, spread it, buy their CD! All the info you need is available at their myspace profile – click here). These guys need our help in promoting their music!

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homework

28 Dec

By pure accident I was watching the British channel Mtv Rocks a couple of weeks ago. Personally I hate the UK Top 10 rock songs chart cause for months now it’s ending with either Coldplay or Florence and the Machine, which I don’t find very interesting – and I should probably state in the very beginning that most of today’s music I don’t find interesting at all. But… the chart included a great surprise. Among a few moronic comments made by the host of the program, who considers himself to be funny, the guy stated that the video they would play presented a band that was considered “hope” of modern British rock. I thought that the comment was funny itself since it stated clearly that the top 10 UK rock songs chart wasn’t really a rock chart – something I firmly believe since all this contemporary whining, whether it is American or British, is difficult to define as rock. And then they played… Pulled Apart By Horses. I found their self titled album immediately and can’t stop listening to it for over two weeks now.

Hope for contemporary rock? Sure it is. These guys sure know how to rock and I am completely amazed that someone could record a debut album which could be so mature, innovative and professional. I am not a huge fan of hysterical screaming as a vocal technique. But, on the other hand, I guess this is something you should just get used to. I remember talking with a friend in the mid-1990s about Jon Davis and Korn. We had the exact feeling about Davis’ vocal abilities. And? Well… there’s no need to explain that it’s impossible to imagine contemporary vocal techniques without Jon Davis. Anyway, at some point I got used to Tom Hudson’s vocals and when it stopped irritating me, I realized his screaming is actually pretty good – very much tuned with the music, only seeming to be out of tune and random.

The band itself does an amazing job. And I realized at some point someone here has done their homework real well, not only being deeply rooted in punk or even grunge but also, surpsingly for myself, Rage Against the Machine (LOL). Pulled Apart By Horses is based on strong, very catchy, melodic riffs, very rhythmical drum section and… screaming. Sounds familiar? Ain’t that a recipe for rock?

All in all – I suppose it’s hard and completely unfair to judge now. But I think that Pulled Apart By Horses already managed to bring something fresh and innovative to the contemporary rock scene which, unfortunately, remains pretty steady for at least a decade, allowing only few artists to become great stars. Needless to say, some of them don’t really deserve it, imho. But… not to whine myself, hey, let’s just cross fingers for Pulled Apart By Horses. I am really hoping that they can continue their great, fresh and truly energetic work and, perhaps, one day they can become a rock phenomenon comparable to the Jesus and Mary Chain (if we’re talking about British rock and alternative rock bands) maybe? But that will happen only if they don’t get spoiled. Homework’s done. Now it’s time for some real hard work. I cross my fingers for you, guys.

P.S. As far as I know, this is the third official video of PABH. Kudos! To the band, to the director, to the people responsible for photography and editing. One of the most disturbing videos I’ve seen this year and a set of brilliant, pretty random scenes which embody all that rock really is and should be – angst, anger, riot. Jeeez, I wish these guys can continue their work. Well, for sure I will be the one who will take a closer look at what they’ll be up to now :-]

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