artist: Zom-Belle’s Palsy
title: Happy Hour
keywords:trip-hop, noise, power electronics
label: SP Recordings http://www.sprecordings.com/
Quarter to seven in the early morning and time for some music that has already captured my attention when it came out. This release is special as it strangely seems to connect with my own mood and mindset. Shiny and happy from the outside but burned and rotten from the inside, is perhaps a way to describe it. Or perhaps a fresh tasty looking apple that is filled with toxic waste? whatever it is we all wear masks or layers of make up like a geisha, and somehow Zom-Belle’s Palsy has captured this two sides of the story-story.
“hot walk” is the first tune on this album that sets the tone of a walk through the mind. It feels like the mask of consistent sadness wants to peel off all the external content of our everyday life. There is no place where we can feel more alone than in a culture we don’t understand, but that simply interest us. Zom-Belle’s Palsy takes us by the hand through Japanese consuming streets on a somehow thoughtful but rainy day. shop windows with empty faces, children playing, television game shows with torture games and old toothless men try to sell you products that you don’t need… You simply feel like you are wandering around in a world that you would normally enjoy, but not today. Today you can see through all the smiling faces of hardworking people that try to get their bowl of rice together, you can see through the artsy fartsy culture and see the pain of a horrible past. But most of all we sink in our own mind with our own failures and troubles… Well haha that was probably a very dramatic way to describe this lovely track. Sound wise we hear a saddened laid back piece of music that is covered with hints of Japanese samples and manipulated snippets of sounds. Japanese trip hop without chop sticks? Anyway this track impresses me as it really hits a emotional snare in my own heart and feelings. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often, so congratulations to Zom-Belle’s Palsy for making me cry in the first track. Oh fuck!
the next track is called “golden” and it feels like Zom-Belle’s Palsy brings us to the temple to get rid of all our sins and worry’s. This isn’t the experience it would have been as it happens to appear that the artist has slipped some hallucinating kind of drug in the green tea i was sipping before. around me i see people doing Bruce lee tactics, smashing wood and strange clothed creatures in robes and beardy goats, and some hidden choir of people in pain. The dancy stable beat provide shelter for the seemingly bad but interesting trip i am experiencing. Its gonna be alright as long as we hold Zom-Belle’s Palsy hand to guide us through this mass of unknown insanity.
music wise this trip contains excellent stuff, full of intelligent sound programming and is somehow more than music, it feels like a lucid daydream slash nightmare that with the help of the beat guides you smoothly through it.
“hair like velvet” is a strange combination that works extremely well. think light distortion, jazzy funk core and a old Japanese woman with probably velvet hair on her head. the noise half way start to be more dominant and it feels like this is the soundtrack of a Shuji Therayama movie. ( seriously people try to find some of his movies, it’s my favorite director of all time! dirty, sexy and noisy!)
so yes, this is indeed a good thing!
in “happy happy” i feel like Zom-Belle’s Palsy placed me in some kind of Japanese fun fair ride that starts nice but indeed starts to be like a ride in hell. locked in to my seat next to a enthusiastic chit chatting Japanese girl who loves it all, i pass by scenes of torture, pain and a collection of frightening sharp knives. These Japanese people surely have a lot of fun! different, but fun in their own way..
this reminds me of two days ago when a Japanese woman gave me a bamboo stick with a mix of mango and sticky rice in it. i ate it and it was delicious. But after hearing this track i wander how this tropical dessert have been made? i just imagine a scene with someone with a bamboo stick up their ass and puking ingredients in a bowl.. after the excellent sound production of Zom-Belle’s Palsy, anything is possible!
And with these thoughts i stumble into the next track that is oddly called “ghost vacation”. So this is where this is all about? this is all unreal? i hear the girl from the earlier funfair ride getting scared and try to call with her mobile phone into reality. of course no-one normal will answer the phone except some creepy freak that not only scares the hell out of the girl but also out of me..
strangely this track reminds me of a Bjork song where she sings in a club and then goes to the toilet and then goes back in the club again.. of course its nothing like that, but it is always good as a reviewer throw in some random names to compare the work with..
oh fuck! what’s next is even more creepier than the ghost train. think old little johny rainbow music snippets and a dentist that invites you into his seat telling you to relax and that its all going to be alright. of course we get strapped down and are unable to move as the walls begin to melt and the dentist starts to drewl all over your face in pure freakish delight. was he the person on the phone the girl talk too before? the creepy rainbow record and the rotten teeth of the dentist nibbling on my nose is indeed a special experience.
with “i don’t know it anymore” it feels that my mind is being treated with a well working blend of distortion feel good electronic chill out core that is insane as hell, but yet again works extremely well. of course we end up in the theme park of Japanese torture, but after the visit of the dentist even the rollercoaster of death cannot scare me! Even though i feel i am still not in a safe place, thus track feels still more euphoric and relieving.. Hey by the way, where did all my teeth go?
the last track is called hungry and yet again my mind thinks of my visa trip to Laos in a little van full of Japanese people. they were so nice and funny and the movies they brought where copied included Japanese advertisements and even though i don’t understand anything they say and their actors show no sign of emotions or over acting, i truly enjoyed it. And the last track reminds me of this journey and the fact that after this wild ride there will be a moment soon that we will reach home safely.
perhaps toothless and covered in drool, but hey this album was definitely worth it! A hard horror movie for the mind is somehow my description of it. Scary but extremely entertaining and well made! had enough of crap horror stuff, spin this one in a dark room and enjoy the ride asshole!
grab your movie here: