Thursday, July 20, 2006

iDi* Amin- B.C.E. (By Defensive Listening)


Idi*Amin's debut cd, "B.C.E." is not just a cdr in a brown paper bag being passed around amongst local noise fans, but instead comes in a package that is beautifully illustrated and folds out like a wedding invitation. To package your average burnable cdr with such lavish visual presentation is a striking statement in itself. It's an insight into the philosophy of a group that may have recorded part of their record on the roof of Cool Bean's, but present it with all the attention and respect that they feel such an experiment (and the people that purchase it) deserve(s). I can respect that.

For a local band that is notoriously challenging, the album starts off with a misleadingly accessible tease. The first track, "GNU" churns along with some fairly melodic sax playing and comes off more like the score to a foreign film shot on DV. This is probably one of the weaker moments on the album, simply because I don't think the sax should be able to get away with playing what the band would probably find inappropriate on guitar if the roles were reversed, meaning that the sax part seems a little too light and safe in the context. Semblance to convention is quickly discarded, however, as the album moves on to"Carbide," its second piece, which sounds like an amplified rubber band being stretched across an empty warehouse by generator noise and random sax stabs. And once the third piece hits, all hell officially breaks loose, just like you thought it would. Here, Idi*Amin launch into a full on panic attack of abandon, with a dose of muscular drumming to help the sax and machine noise along to the middle of the record, which shifts into more lethargic territory. The guitars become so deconstructed and anti-riff at certain points that they would hardly be recognizable as the "chick magnets" young men once saw them as. Well, the dream is still alive for iDi* Amin if today's gals are into bleak, apocalyptic, and atonal nightmares.

The fifth track, "Coelacant" [sic], clocks in at nearly ten minutes and combines the aforementioned pieces ofIdi*Amin's sound with a great deal of feedback. By this point, the sine waves start to sound like lowflying warplanes as the ominous haze of the record builds ever outward and hits a true climax as the first track reprises, if you could call it that, with "G.N.U. II". Once Mike Forbes' sax starts it's repetitive Albert Ayler cadence, Idi*Amin's music really seems to come together almost gracefully. The guitars, drumming, and noise play off of these stunted phrases, and it's some of the most intriguing playing you'll hear from any local band. The next to last song, "Ziggurat" starts off with the same pattern, and if I had any power to change DFW's shitty rock history, this would replace"Possum Kingdom" as our most widely known local hit. The record ends with a lone scream, stray gunfire percussion, and the trickle of a slide running up and down the strings of a guitar and promptly dying, shortly after playing the album's only recognizable guitar melody. Along with the rest of the record, this piece is so menacing that I should probably correct my previous statement: "B.C.E." unfolds like a funeral invitation.

(Note: Star rating out of a possible five)

24 Comments:

Anonymous scott said...

Nevada is always a pleasure to run into. I never seem to be able to leave his presence without buying his art, be it CDR, shirt, sticker...
He is also known to stalk the rubber gloves parking lot with a box of wine.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous M-. said...

The sheer beauty of Nevada's packaging of B.C.E. is worth the price of admission alone.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Mr. Red Cat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck this blogjack!

3:29 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

no shit dude. We'll go read your blog Mr. Red, we promise.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

Technically "Coelacant" is not a misspelling, but a play on the name of the no-longer-extinct prehistoric fish [fitting with the disc's theme] melded with the musical term.
thnx!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bobby ewing is pathetic, they're like little jerks running into your yard while you're having your game of jump-rope going and trying to jump in and get attention.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blog war eh? oh shit not again?

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonight !!!!!

Moon Rabbits are opening up for Raggae Soup Explosion

at the Manhole

3145 Lemon Ave
Dallas Tx

starts around midnight

3:59 PM  
Anonymous djtigerbee said...

Hopefully not, it's so old. I know theres speculation about it being BHS and Callithump and gang, but surely people who call themselves "friends" wouldn't resort to something as childish and inane as that lame blog. I still can't figure out why anybody reads it.
But more importantly, how does one get a hold of the cd thats being discussed? is this a buy at shows deal or can you get them somewhere else?

4:01 PM  
Blogger jamo said...

great review!

4:03 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

I think you can buy it @ their shows or contact them via their Myspace page. Maybe the guys in the band can answer if they're reading this...

their myspace is myspace/idiamin71

4:07 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

what the hell is the manhole?

4:11 PM  
Anonymous djtigerbee said...

thanks much!

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's called the Manhole and it's on Lemmon Ave. what more do you need to know?

4:14 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

oh. I'm glad to see that the Dallas reggay scene is finally starting to post on here!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous iDi mc said...

hey tigerbee and anybody wanting to know, yeah you can PayPal us off the MySpace or get it at shows (or the Zanzibar Snails show on Friday at 8:30 at Counter Culture Vintage at Mockingbird Station). We only have like 3 or 4 left of the original run of 32, but we have another run coming soon w/ the same packaging with subtle differences due to a different printer & materials.
-MC of iDi

4:23 PM  
Anonymous djtigerbee said...

cool, thanks for the heads up

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Delmore said...

I picked this album up at the Strategies show -- listened to it on a mountain a few days later and it is very very very good -- s'dranger (hah!) said in an early IDIaMIN post that the saxophone is the butterfly that holds the hurricane together -- he didnt actually say that, but I agree -- the band does such a perfect job of swarming, congealing, & rejecting one another -- fuckin' A!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Was the "blogjack" and Mr. Red comments related to the post that was removed by the author? What did the post originally say?

And djtigerbee, why are you so negative? You're usually a very positive person about everything.

Good review, by the way.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thread-jack was from Bobby Ewings Dreams (the Black Heart Society blog)

10:26 PM  
Anonymous djtigerbee said...

In response to 7:25, if a blog wants to rip on me and people I know then it's a fair assumption I'm not going to think they're all that awesome and amazing. This would be the case in "real" life as well. But the big picture is this is an anonymous blogger we're talking about, and my opinion should only matter to me. It's not so much negative but what I feel. And my comment was about " blog wars" as much as it was about that specific blog. People who never take responsibility for their words usually have nothing to say, in some cases. At any rate the whole thing is ridiculous. And if you wanna get more in depth you can email me cause this post was about IDI amin.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Carlin said...

I just ordered my iDi Amin CD...can't wait to hear it in it's entirety.

12:06 AM  
Blogger willdowdy said...

yeah, that disk sounds cool. i'll hafta check it out.

6:38 PM  

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