Bombino is in my humble opinion, best seen live, with no strings attached. In some ways he’s one of the few musicians where a sense of possession or “proprietorship” or “understanding” shouldn’t really bother anyone in an attempt to enjoy the music.
It’s time to go and our intrepid author is finally leaving. An early night however is not his only concern. It is imperative that he arrives back before his bibulous companion JC. If not then all his anxiety and sobriety will have been for naught. The race is on and the stakes could not be higher, but who will prevail Niki or James?
Some knowledge is forbidden, sought only by deranged, twerking dervishes obsessed with degenerate rituals. So how is it that a forty-year writer is privy to their secrets?
In fact things started to get groovy; despite the lights being up and a lot of the audience being gauche stoner wallflowers; we noticed a fair number of groovers had started to cut some rug to good effect.
“yeah, I got this dodgy timer, see, it keeps going off and creating all these polyrhythmic sub rnb structures, know anyone who can fix it mate?” Nah, soz....
In fact the idea that this release is, ahem, “DaDaesque” is never too far away; as there’s always an element of theatre and well, plain silliness infusing a lot of the music.
They don’t use much of the scale do Udarnik, but then that’s their strength; somehow there is not an ounce of fat on this LP, and it’s somehow a classic underground release.
It’s also far too short as a listen to get irritated by it, and like an early morning cuppa it brings you round, gives you a bit of focus and, weirdly enough hope. Hope. Now there’s a pretentious thought…
The cover is a classic too; the street battle scene is a statement of intent in a new setting, a case, maybe of saying, no, this is how you do it, you fey fucks…
Tracks like Mind & Matter’s I’m Under Your Spell, or is the sound of high living or people pretending they are living high, aspirants’ music. That is probably why this Fall/Bunnymen/Smiths fan hated it at the time; I couldn’t see past the shoulder pads to examine what made it tick.
So, a deliberate and quiet entrenchment of some emotional inner space; and whether you think entering into this foggy world of Sawyer’s thoughts and feelings is worth it is, (as Peter Cook once said), “entirely a matter for you”.
So there you have it, another fab slab of High Magicke. I’m not sure this band knows how to make a bad record.
That’s not to say that this LP isn’t enjoyable, it IS; it’s great, a blast even, and at times it kicks off into another dimension, through sheer force of will and the drill-like playing of the band.
There’s this spaceyness to this record that’s up there with the best stuff Maximum Joy or Pop Group did; that loose, whirligig sound on Free-Dum Trail or Orbit Macht Frei are cases in point...
There are some tremendously dark, almost Nordic ballads here; such as My Name Is Rune or Nova 88, both getting on a bit of a Marble Index trip...
And in any case, how can you get all hot under the collar about an artist who seems to be sporting a necklace of shrimps on the cover?
It’s a suggestive name, Chrome Hoof; redolent of the polish of sleek modern urban living, of the leather running sooth in the passenger seat and, well, being trodden on by a beast of the field.
This record has a quality of something special, of something indefinably GOOD about it; in fact so good I think I can get away with calling it brilliant. One thing’s for certain, I can’t get enough of it at the moment.
I still wonder about what the qualitative differences between this form of entertainment and, say, watching a string quartet are; or watching someone knocking out a Buxtehude piece on an organ.