Posts Tagged ‘experimental jazz’

Bablicon – The Orange Tapered Moon

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Misra Records, 2000Image

I bought this record at a small record store that is known for its wonderfully unique taste.  They have got psychedelic rock from the sixties, solo artists on no art, no frills CDs just getting their music out there, and tunes from bands you and I will never know or hear of ever again.  Truly eclectic!  Buying dollar discs from them has been quite the challenge over the years, and Bablicon’s album is no different.  The art and print betray nothing, aside from possible chaos.   Uh oh, chaos.  If this is another one of those experimental records I get tricked into buying I’m going to open my window and blast it for my neighbors.  I’M not going to be alone in this listening debacle.  Take that old folks!  Call the cops if you wanna, they won’t want to come anywhere near this place.

And yes, as it turns out Bablicon is experimental all the way.  But at least they’re not screaming at me, or making noises my mind can’t comprehend.  Well, not entirely anyway.  Bablicon let it rip right away with a Liars-like tune entitled “Silicon Bucktown”.  The singer sounds like he’s straining just to keep up with his humorous (re: choppy) delivery of the lyrics, which explains quite a bit when the rest of the record lacks vocals.  Bablicon is mainly about the music, which for the most part on “Silicon…” consists of a steady bass, drum, and violin presence.  “Muomed/Moy Mermotman” is much more experimentally typical, with some strangely random drum taps and mournful saxophone.  At this point, I was getting a bit nervous about my patience level.

The third track, “Anne on an Infibulus” is similar to “Muomed…” in that the drums can be wayward and urgent, but the difference is that it actually has a pretty good intense build to it early on.  The bass line sounds a lot like the “Doctor Who” theme, so if that show ever had a chase scene where a guy in a very long scarf had to pursue some kind of humanoid from another time (oh, watch the show already) this would be the theme song.  Unfortunately, the tune fades out halfway through and is replaced by an eerie chimes concoction with a brooding piano stepping in periodically.  Ah, that’s right, forgot I was listening to experimental music for a bit there.  There are no rules.

Another song that stood out to me was “210”, which was a bit long for what it was but had some moments that made me think it was part of a movie score.  The harsh oboe (or perhaps flute) sound early on sounded like something out of a Hitchcock film, while the rat-a-tats from a simple drum kit sounded like something from “Peter and the Wolf”.  Some sounds on this one reproduced that tone you hear when your ears are ringing.  Along with some other inverted, sometimes frightening sounds that sweep and fade across the speakers, I was impressed at what amounted to a short soundtrack to an unknown suspense film.  A B-film director should give Bablicon a call for this tune alone.

Bablicon only have two songs on their Myspace page but there’s a few videos on Youtube that can get you interested in their live show from back when they were around.

Shockingly, I don’t mind this record all that much.  Of course there were some discordant songs that didn’t work much at all for my ears (Mustacho, The Well Tempered Alligator), but a few tunes on here actually held court well.  I could hear a solid jazz tune here, a meditation there, and not get too derailed by random assaults so that I would turn the album off.  Bablicon, you have given me something to think about!  Well, until the next musical bludgeoning comes along and makes me grit my teeth and bulge my eyes.

Bablicon only put out three records, the last in 2001, before calling it quits.  It’s hard to say if the world is worse off with Bablicon gone, since there are so many who are capable of throwing some instruments together to make a cacophony of seemingly aimless sounds.  However, as I mentioned earlier I think the group had some solid talent when they caught a directional vibe.  According to a couple of sites, their third record is slightly better than this one, so I may even check that out for a dollar.  I’ll even let the old folks sleep if I do.