Rodach/Moss: Fragmentary Blues: Release Information
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Release Date: 30.08.1999
TT Catalogue No: 4432
"Is that my Bizness?" puffs, pants, howls a man's voice. Defiantly, a guitar screeches in, short schrill notes. The words tangle up with each other furiously, manically, blues pushes in between the lines, for a second. And suddenly the storm has passed and with it the search for musical "sense". A burst of laughter?
Music is undoubtedly vocalist/drummer David Moss's and guitarist Michael Rodach's business. In their first joint production they play the blues into complete madness. All of the clichés, popular sound patterns, tone colors - on "Fragmentary Blues they're all shredded and pressed into new forms. Now and then the result sounds like an overly exaggerated parody - like on the second track "Boys", where Moss's voice sneaks up like a chameleon on the vision of a rancid man and then loses itself in the (imitated) howling of a police siren. Hectic, destructive, insane, references to James Brown in "Story Time" provide for laugh attacks and confusion. But not all of these 20 short tracks follow a loud and wild pattern. "Blues for Tango" for instance, dives into the weightlessness of blue depths, only fragments of words are sounded, sepia colors like old photos with serrated edges.
Moss and Rodach have a lot to say to each other on the blues: guitar, percussion and vocals react alertly to each other, focusing on and dancing around the most widely varied atmospheres between chaos and the proverbial quiet before the storm. Inimitably, the two artists have found a contemporary variant of this old musical tradition, one which lends a helping hand to individual inner conflict in post-modern existence. So rightly put in "Wittgenstein Blues", The grammophone record the musical thought, the score, the waves of sound : a pictorial relation between language and the world / In fact there's a general rule: the musician can read the symphony out of the score".
"Who could imagine ? A blues album -- a "fragmentary blues" album? Well, I never really imagined it either. But then Michael Rodach and I met in Berlin at a recording session for trumpeter/composer Paul Brody's "American Folk Songs" project. From the beginning we loved each other's sound and style, approach and eccentricities, energy and rhythms. Fate ! Then Michael invited me to play a duo with him (as live music with the old Warner Brothers "Road Runner" cartoons) for a jazz festival. So in December 1997 we played together for the first time: funk riffs, improvisation textures, fast changes, odd sustains, blues quotes, rhythm fragments, odd melodies and (James Brown inspired) screams -- all mixed with that minimalist/repetitive and definitely dada-inspired cartoon bird and coyote. After the concert we both knew it was only the beginning. And Stefi Marcus, of Traumton Studio, who heard us that night, realized the potential of our duo and invited us to record at the studio sometime and "see what happens...". And somehow we both felt that the power of our duo came from an odd mixture of improvisation, noise, fund and blues elements.
Then, after more than a year of schedule conflicts we finally set up at Traumton. We wanted a 'live'-feeling: no headphones, no room dividers, no vocal booths; just the guitar, drums, and voice hearing each other in a room, playing and responding. After 3 days recording, and some vocal and guitar overdubs (we couldn't resist, because so many songs gave us new ideas), this was the result: improvised songs based on our own eccentric perceptions of the blues. Guitar, drums, and voice -- on the one hand, pretty basic; on the other hand, perverse, distorted, fragmentary, transformed.
Through it's lyrics and rhythms, "Fragmentary Blues" pays homage
to the blues music that we've heard for years. The words, voices, passion,
sounds, noises, beats, fractured blues forms, quotes and warped riffs are playful
elements of old and new music, Michael and I found many sounds and ideas that
we'd never made before. We certainly never imagined the 20 songs on this CD
before we sat down in the room together to discover these fragments and moods.
But hasn't "blues" always been about personal voices, life-stories,
intense moments and surprises, anyhow ? We both wonder how listeners will react."