Half A Century  – Butsenzeller (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a0374743364_16.jpgImagine if jazz had evolved from the New Romantic synth experimentation of the late 70’s or that punk had been instigated after the invention of the affordable synthesiser or even that computers had been programmed to write acoustic pop songs. All unlikely scenarios for sure but each of those does say something about the three tracks that make up Butsenzeller’s latest collection of mercurial musical musings.

The title track hits the listener’s consciousness, less like an opening musical salvo more like an oozing sonic life form, a dirge from the far reaches of space sounding like music which has fallen between the cracks, and indeed tracks, of a studio recording and that then gradually came together in a strange synchronicity to form a creeping doom jazz soundtrack. Miles Davis meets The Apocalypse.

The wonderfully named Voteshutupworkconsume says a lot about some of the underlying attitudes of Butsenzeller and is musically a call back to  the industrial dance-noise-art-punk disco that we found on Seqs & Drums & Rockin’ Synths, a short sharp sonic shock and an infectious groover.  The less expected inclusion here is Isabel, potentially just a rudimentary busking guitar tune but put through the blender, warped and weirded out, effected and affected and turned into something otherworldly, angular and only half-human.

As always Butsenzeller manages to surprise you with his music, even though you already knew that something surprising was going to happen and it is that ability to keep pulling the rug from under the listener’s feet that keeps things exciting, fresh and fantastically odd. Then again normality is a pretty overrated concept if you ask me.

  

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Seqs & Drums & Rockin’ Synths – Butsenzeller (Jezus Factory) Reviewed by Dave Franklin

a2088926938_2The only thing that surprises me anymore with  Jezus Factory releases is just when you think that they have put out the most bizarre record you have ever heard, they  manage to raise their own warped benchmark. Not that the core idea behind Butsenzeller’s music is too outlandish, robotic, dance floor euro-electronica, but like most creativity it is the attitude behind it and the way it is delivered that becomes the real game changer.

I guess those who want a sound bite tag,  maybe punk disco might be an apt term, electrotrash or possibly industrial noisebeat…I don’t know I’m sure someone will find an appropriate label for it but in essence this is someone doing to dance music what The Sex Pistols did to rock and roll. You take the basic building blocks and rather than methodically sculpt them into new pleasing arrangements you instead hammer the crap out of them until they form grotesque shapes and then use them to build wonderfully horrifying new designs.

It may be worth noting that “Bootsie” (to his friends) is a lynch pin drummer, DJ and sampler for a whole host of bands on the Antwerp alternative music scene and all of this seems to come together in his music. The back beats range from cold and clinic through robotic to industrial onto which is added all manner of strange electronic motifs, alien sounds, tribal psytrance, factory noise, demented computer sounds and darkwave pulses. The result is challenging, crazy and totally unique.

I’m not sure if this is the sound of electronic music imploding or striding out into a bright new dawn, the product of one innovative musician or the output of a badly programed super computer running software designed to create music. Androids may or may not dream of electric sheep but this is what you computer sings to itself when you are out of the house.

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