Monday, 27 April 2009

Aksak Maboul - 'Un Peu de L'Âme Des Bandits' (Crammed Discs)

Source: Received from Recommended mail oder on July 8, 2006 for £9.

Belgium! Land of rich wonderful beer, vertical archery, and waffles sold on the street. Aksak Maboul's second album is their maximalist one: there's traditional folky jams, weird prog-ambient beatdowns and some Broadway passages too. Frith and Cutler are all over it and occasionally steer it into Henry Cow territory ('Geistige Nacht') but that's not a bad thing at all. Everything imaginable is stuck into a blender here but it' stays on the Appolonian tip. This is essentially the last anyone ever heard of Aksak Maboul (apart from the Crammed 'Made to Measure' comp which'll be reviewed on Dislocated Underbite in about 2 years); soon after this (which was 1980, if yer wondering) they turned into the Honeymoon Killers (who made some great jams of their own). This (and their first record) are just enough to build a legacy on, if you ask me. There's some weird shit: 'Inoculating Rabies' which sounds more like the other (NYC) Honeymoon Killers except with a bass clarinet and bassoon way too forward in the mix; the improv parts of the second half (labeled as 'Cinema') are like Curlew covering Dead Machines. I think Aksak were originally started as an offshoot of Univers Zero, though I could be wrong - but this disc goes far beyond any UZ I've ever heard - like balancing the most aggressively strident art-rock-prog compositions on the same spoon as 'outsider' music. More Catherine Jauniaux would have made a great album even better, though I guess I can always turn to Fluvial for that. CD version tacks a Honeymoon Killers track on the end which is cool but breaks up the purity of the album like these f'ing CDs always do.

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