Friday, August 12, 2016

Torture Time! - Polly Bradfield, Eugene Chadbourne

So today, since I'm house sitting, I decided to finally review this. Plus it has to be better than that extremely boring Georgie Fame album i just listened to (sorry Oxley you couldn't even save it). Also I've been writing and I need something non-singer/songwriter or to help me focus and get inspired by music. This is the third release by Polly Bradfield. This is a collaborative album between her and experimental guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. Well kinda, she has only been credited to about 20 some odd albums, recorded, from 1978, Frank Lowe's album Lowe and Behold, to 1986, John Zorn's  album The Big Gundown (which might be uploaded soon, either that or Spillane). Hopefully those commas make sense, because i know its technically incorrect use but fuck that. If you remember three February's ago, I was feeling daring and did Environments For Sextet, (which she played violin on). She also played with the other 11 releases he is credited on (from various places, though there might be more). This is also the last album that was released where she was credited as an artist. This album was recorded on April 2, 1981 and should be noted the only instruments on here are violin and dobro.
  1. Untitled: Opening with what sounds like a crank or a wheel being turned. First time trying to do the review, I made it like 30 seconds in and my brain turned to mush thinking how the fuck Polly is doing what she's doing. I mean it could just as likely be Eugene, but Polly is the more talented one (IMO). I have to figure shes doing something with the strings on that violin, and some of these "effects" are really interesting sounding. I can't even describe some of the sounds happening because that take far too long and take away from others interpretations. The thing I like is when I hear sounds that sound like a horn, toys, whistle, saw or something not a Dobro or violin. There is percussive noise, but I assume it's achieved by hitting the instruments. At about five minutes in I'm beginning to hope it can keep this up or get better. I like the sort of sped up horse gallops part, that kept me trying to think how's it exactly done, but I think I might have figured it out. There are also parts that remind me of Mr. Bungle field recordings that find their way all over the debut.  Is that a bicycle bell. Around 13 minutes I do like what's going on, but its kind of losing me. To be honest, I'm not completely looking forward to another 20 minutes of this. It kinda sounds like a fart. I feel like if cut up into individual tracks, to sort of help only get short doses of this the track would be much better. Like maybe cut this into 5 or 6, 1-3 minute tracks. And maybe cut parts that kinda repeat you know. 
  2. Untitled: Bow by the time I'm at side two I'm like, the better be damn great of amazing to make up for the overall okay last track. And yeah it starts off promising, though it leaves me wanting more (in the this isn't enough, not I want to have more the the same or quality). Why no drums bru, that'd make it so much fucking better or something else, horns something. There is a sound that when I hear it I imagine the film being dissolved, like in movies. But in this instance it'd be the sound or music. There is a nice "banjo" type thing I hear, but it fades to fast. I like some "effects" on this track also, but I fear its going to wear thin fast. I mean the last thing wasn't so hot. It kinda sounds like someone masturbating. There's a part where the Dobro is in,  the distance and almost sounds like its over a radio. I like that a lot. But it goes to fast and isn't fully utilized. 6 minutes in, of 15, and I'm kinda picturing what could make this better. Horns would so fucking make this better, like horns that acted as a regular string section. Then maybe pizzicato horns (probably using term wrong or not ever the right term, but fuck it). At 9:24 I'm beginning to completely check out, I am glad I checked the time because that helps me know its almost done. I do like the breathing sounds and how it is chaotic towards the ending but I feel like it didn't do what I wanted it to do. 
Overall I have to give this album a disappointing 5/10. It's free improvisation, what did you expect. I mean as much as I enjoy the genre and take influence from it I can't say anything of it could really be a 10/10. I mean I bet if I was to play this and have ten people review this most would hate it and point out, its not music. The thing is, this is music, we've past the point in time a long time ago where this wouldn't be considered music per say. But that doesn't mean i didn't have hopes of it being a 7 or 8. I mean this album, to me, felt like it could be up there with European Echoes, Environment, Typography of the Lungs and so on. Sadly it's just one I heard I'll probably forget after this review. There is an art to being able to do so much with so little, and you know I learned quite a bit from sitting through this record, but I won't revisit it. Actually on that note, the fact there is so few and little also detracts from this. I mean if they added a percussionist, and he had a shit ton of things to use that'd help make this much more interesting at parts. Really, if you open minded about music I ask you check this thing out, maybe you'll get something out of it. Or if you play a string instrument you can hear weird sounds for 35 minutes. But yeah, its nothing that I'll ever want to bear again. 

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