Skip to main content



Featured Post

2020 Cadillac XT6 Review

LIKES Evolved stylingStandard automatic emergency brakingAvailable all-wheel driveSmart Sport suspension tuningSupple, supportive seatsDISLIKES Small third rowToo far from Escalade in looks?Lacks SuperCruise, at least for nowBUYING TIP The 2020 Cadillac XT6 makes more sense in Premium Luxury trim, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t prefer the XT6 Sport’s handling.





Benjamin Lew - Le personnage principal est un peuple isolé Music Album Reviews

STROOM, a Belgian label whose releases are not so much reissues as alternate histories of avant-garde pop, surveys the dreamlike soundscapes of a fringe figure from the 1980s.

In a recent profile of the curious Belgian imprint STROOM, art director Nana Esi said, “You need some vagueness to be able to be flexible.” To which her partner and the label head, Ziggy Devriendt, added, were money not an issue, “I would immediately start a restaurant here in Ostend with the name STROOM, I would start a CBD shop named STROOM.” Music as sustenance, music as vapor: STROOM similarly slips out of easy grasp with every release. The label has drifted between sounds, countries, and eras; its releases are not quite reissues so much as alternate histories. One record might be hypnotic, globe-trotting ambient, another unabashed trance, while most revel in simply being unclassifiable.

That the label sought out Benjamin Lew aligns with this outlook. A furtive figure on the 1980s Belgian scene, Lew was responsible for a few evocative releases on the similarly genre-averse Crammed Discs label, working with the likes of the Durutti Column and Tuxedomoon. As Crammed owner Marc Hollander recalled, Lew wasn’t a trained musician but rather a guy who dabbled in “photography, writing, visual arts… and worked part-time as a cocktail mixer in a tropical bar,” serving drinks to other creative types. So his output makes sense in our current gig economy, as Lew sways between dreamlike ambient, woozy jazz, and skewered pop, beholden to nothing save his own whimsy. Le personnage principal est un peuple isolé draws from his ’80s albums and collects unreleased music, but it also feels like an unfinished portrait, given that it maddeningly leaves out his stunning, surreal 1982 debut, Douzième Journée: Le Verbe, La Parure, L'Amour.

The first few pieces here align Lew with other forgotten artists from that era only getting their due in the 21st century, like Woo, Gigi Masin, and Hiroshi Yoshimura. “Profondeurs des eaux des laques” and “Moments” draw on the playful slant of Erik Satie rather than the more objective ambient of Brian Eno, at once serene and gently surreal (the former title roughly translating as “the depths of lacquered waters”). Woodwinds and treated guitars move together in drunken duet, while “Moments” has all the resonant plinks, drips, and ripples of a good long bathtub soak.

The title track falls into the lineage of Can’s “Ethnological Forgery Series” along with recent productions from artists like Jan Jelinek, Andrew Pekler, and RAMZi. Here Lew creates an imaginary sound with a carefully constructed blend of thrummed hand percussion, sitar twangs, the buzz of a double-reed instrument, and voices that could be in any tongue. It conjures a world as tenable as smoke, drawing you in only to dissipate after four minutes. “Qu'il fasse nuit” does something similar with clarinet, violin, and clattering percussion, weaving them together to sound like a jaunty highlands folk dance unearthed by Lew the ethnographer. On “Etendue,” he creates something both earthy and ethereal, mixing a church choir with the sound of someone calling to their herd.

Only two short songs in the middle of the album break the spell: “The Wheel” and “Little Birds Sit on Your Shoulder” are clunky rather than charming. Despite a knack for trying on numerous hats, Lew won’t ever be remembered as a savvy songwriter or a good vocalist. He’s at his best wringing plangent feelings out of minor-key drama, as on the excellently titled “La magnifique alcoolique” and in the struck chimes that twinkle across the pensive yet tingly “Joyeux regrets imprécis.” That song’s title might also serve as motto for both Lew and STROOM: “Happy vague regrets.”

View my Flipboard Magazine.

View the original article here



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Descendants 3 2019 Sinhala Subtitles

Synopsis The teenagers of Disney's most infamous villains return to the Isle of the Lost to recruit a new batch of villainous offspring to join them at Auradon Prep.

The Pilgrim's Progress (2019) Sinhala Subtitles

Synopsis The epic tale of a pilgrim and his burden, based on John Bunyan's Masterpiece. Christian begins a journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City as the ultimate enemy tries everything in his power to distract him from his destination. One of the most popular books of all time is brought to life for the first time to theaters as a feature length, CGI animated movie.

Once Upon a Hollywood Movie Review

Say Goodbye to "Hollywood"

Moments of Quentin Tarantino's new movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" suggest a calmer and more reflective side of the filmmaker. Tarantino is known for his unrelenting violence and rapid-fire dialogue exchanges, but early scenes in his latest movie show him taking a bit of a breath. It's a nice touch, but Tarantino cannot help giving into his worst indulgences as a director; the movie ultimately succumbs to those, and it erases all hints of goodwill that may have been built up earlier in the film.

Spinach, Asian Pear & Chicken Salad

Fragrant, crunchy Asian pears add a refreshing melon-like flavor to the healthy chicken salad recipe. Look for the large, brown, apple-shaped fruit in well-stocked supermarkets near other specialty fruit.

Mase - Harlem World Music Album Reviews

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the debut album from Mase, an icon of the shiny suit era who turned the Bad Boy throne into a recliner.
Mase floats skyward wearing golden goggles and a shiny suit that looks like a tricked-out air traffic control vest. His rise through an ultramodern wind tunnel feels remarkably symbolic as Kelly Price lip-syncs Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” on a monitor behind him. He’s wearing the same diamond-studded Jesus piece the Notorious B.I.G. had on when he was murdered. As he swaggers through the futuristic Hype Williams-directed music video for 1997’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” histories are being rewritten in real-time; the nature of rap as an epic retail commodity is growing. It is a eulogy and a coronation all at once. It is Bad Boy rising from the ashes.

Like Fan Page