Saturday, January 25, 2020

Fun-Da-Mental - "Erotic Terrorism" [1998]

Artist: Fun-Da-Mental
Title: Erotic Terrorism
Genre: Breakbeat, Industrial Hip-Hop, World Fusion
Country: UK
Release date: 1998

Track List:
  1. Oh Lord! (Devil Would Like A Word)
  2. Demonised Soul (My Head Bus On A Hard Surface But I Could Never Hurt It)
  3. Godevil (All Tainted By Wickedness)
  4. Ja Sha Taan (Joo Ley Lal Mustt Qalander)
  5. Blood In Transit (After Dinner Mints)
  6. Repent (Not Repented Yet)
  7. Deathening Silence (Thru Bloodless Birth My Being A Clone)
  8. Furious (Crustacean Of The Sea, Organism Of Dust)
  9. See I A (Dust On Ants Feet)
  10. The Distorted C (All We Want)
  11. One Ness (Dhann A Dhann)
  12. Sliced Lead (Fill It With Lead)
  13. Tongue Gone Cold (Grown To A Medical Specimen Paranoid Mad Careless Deviance)
Fun-Da-Mental is a brainchild of Aki Nawaz (Haq Nawaz Qureishi) who started his music career as a drummer in The Southern Death Cult, one of the first British post-punk/gothic rock bands which later took a much more commercial hard/glam rock direction under the name The Cult. In the meanwhile, Aki Nawaz took the stage name Propa-Gandhi and founded Fun-Da-Mental in August '91 during London's annual Notting Hill Carnival. Needless to say that his new band sounded nothing like Southern Death Cult, although still being heavily influenced by the spirit of punk:
Initial line-up consisted of Bad-Sha Lallaman and Aki Nawaz (properly Haq Qureshi) who went under the stage name of Propa-Gandhi, Man-Tharoo (who later went under the name of Goldfinger) and DJ Obeah (who would be replaced by Dave Watts). The least convincing colour on their style palette would be rap; their originality lies in their manipulation of soundbite and sample. Often witty, they mix samples of the classical instruments, the metamorphosed motif of the train whistle from the Hindi film Pakeezah, Pakistani village music and filmi (Indian film music), all woven into a patterns of flavours.
Around the time when "Erotic Terrorism" was released, FDM played a show in my home city. It was the time when bands like The Prodigy were wildly popular here (and elsewhere), so the public was quite impressed by seeing what was described by some critics as "how The Prodigy would sound if they were born somewhere around the Indus River valley" (the most obvious comparison, however, would be "a more heavier version of Asian Dub Foundation", but seems like nobody here has heard of ADF at the time). Back then I was too young to appreciated their music, but I have memorized their name, and many years later I bought the "Erotic Terrorism" on cassette at first opportunity. I wasn't disappointed at all; to me, it sounded more like "how KMFDM would sound if Sascha Konietzko and En Esch were born in Pakistan and met each other in the UK":

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Başkarma - "Kizleü" [1991]

Artist: Başkarma
Title: Kizleü
Genre: Folk-Rock
Country: Finland
Release date: 1991

Track List:
  1. Kaytuinni Saginirmin
  2. Töngi Karlar
  3. Kübelegim
  4. Kaycan Gina Kilirsin Sin
  5. Sin Sazinni Uynadin
  6. Sonlama
  7. Sular Buylap
  8. Közgi Mon
  9. Sonlama, Kil Indi
  10. Zenger Toman
  11. Bir Gine Minutka
  12. Tan Atkanda
  13. Yokla Inim
  14. Elmira
  15. Ey Mokatdes
Did you know that Finland has long had a not very sizable (~1000) but well-established Tatar minority? Well, now you know. They're mostly descendants of Mishari Tatars that came to Grand Duchy of Finland during late 19th / early 20th century from the vicinity of Sergach (not far from where I live; although I've been to Sergach, so far I haven't visited any predominately Tatar villages around there). Although they're completely integrated into Finnish society, they keep their language and culture alive.

Başkarma was a folk-rock band started by the Finnish Tatar musician Deniz Bedretdin in late 1970s. Their album "Kizleü" was released in USSR in 1991, which helped them to get some recognition among Tatars elsewhere. Despite being re-released on CD in Russia in 2003, this release remains to be rather rare and obscure, but when I found it I wasn't disappointed. Very good quality of production for its time and great female vocals, even if most of the songs aren't particularly catchy. Interestingly, their style was described by someone on Youtube as "balearic flamenco AOR folk":

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Samael - "Exodus" [1998]

Artist: Samael
Title: Exodus
Genre: "Dark Metal", Industrial Metal
Country: Switzerland
Release date: 1998

Track List:
  1. Exodus
  2. Tribes of Cain
  3. Son of Earth
  4. Winter Solstice
  5. Ceremony of Opposites
  6. From Malkuth to Kether
  7. Static Journey (hidden track)
Samael are a band that doesn't really need an introduction. One of the most innovative and influental Swiss metal bands along with Celtic Frost, they're among my favourite bands of all times. While their early 1st wave black metal stuff was way ahead of its time too, I very much prefer their later albums beginning from "Passage" where they play music commonly described as "industrial metal" (yet they sound quite different from most other bands in this genre) and "dark metal" (which is a non-descriptive label that could mean anything, at least according to Metal Archives rules), with rather non-provocative lyricsal themes such as space and spirituality. In particular, "Exodus" and "Eternal" were the albums which first introduced me to Samael, and both of them still remain among my top favourites.

Unlike their preceding release, the much acclaimed "Passage", "Exodus" is a quite overlooked EP that received mostly average marks from reviewers and was deemed a release "only for serious completists" (which I probably am, at least when it comes to the electronic/industrial releases from Samael). Actually, I like it at least as much as "Passage", which is widely considered to be the best album by Samael. In the beginning, "Exodus" sounds very much like "Passage", but its sound gradually becomes more and more electronic and experimetal closer to the end. My personal favourite are the piano parts in "Winter Solstice".