Artist: George Christian
Title: Demos & Outtakes Vol. I – Instrumentals
Keywords: ambient brasil dark kowa records noise noise Viamão
Reviewer: The Honest Ape
It’s horrible when you are honest sometimes, but it is also a important thing. Without honesty what is the point of having an opinion or writers about music anyway? Mostly it’s good to be honest as when music is there that pleases you it easily becomes a feast to pen it all up and spread out the love like a canon full of confetti. But when there is music that is clearly made by a musician who can clearly play an instrument better than you would ever be able to do and does this with a true passion and soul & yet you can’t seem to get it or simply into it.., than ‘honesty’ becomes slightly problematic.
A lot of friendly music blogs prefer to not write about music that they didn’t enjoy so much. They would say ‘look we are a happy place – no sad faces of bad news allowed – and I respect that. But still, it will create some kind of false perspective that all music is nice and pleasurable. In a way it is all nice and pleasurable , but sometimes it’s just not for you, or me , but probably for someone else who does enjoy it. The milkman? The lady at the grocery store with the hearing aid?
After all it’s all about personal opinion and co… so basically all music reviews are kind of useless, yet there is some power in it if a badly written review reveals that sheer honesty that keeps the thing real, alive and trustworthy. Trust me, this requested album for review.. I wanted to love it so badly. I wanted to kiss it, praise it, pick it up my shoulders and parade it around as if it was some kind of national treasure.
I really, really tried… I wrote an endless essay about it and it wasn’t of the ‘wow this is amazing – so pretty – over the moon kind of way’ but more like a grumpy gnome that couldn’t connect with it. Mumbling around in a Void of bad vibes.. We are all different of course,although I really wished to have had the ability to be in the artist’s shoes for a bit, just to understand what is going on over here as I could not connect with it, understand it, or even feel these obvious emotions that roam around in these compositions etc.. i felt weird and out of touch & all I got was this dilemma; shall I publish the review? Shall I throw it in the bin and act like we never had seen the request and be as happy go lucky like the teletubbies in their green land?
I thought No! Honesty prevails and besides the word collection over here is so long – nobody in their right mind would read this blurb anyway. Besides At least nobody could excuse us that we ain’t honest even though honesty comes sometimes with a price. Anyway, without further wasting your time; here is the struggling sweaty take of a honest ape trying to write a walk through for this peculiar album:
Improvisations in which the good person merciful tickles an instrument not to make it laugh, but more to make it lay backwards on its belly in a hopeful move of getting sounds of appreciation out of it. The musician of this album clearly seems to enjoy the outcome so much that he even starts to give it some vocal sounds. Why not? I mean in principle it is as if the artist is playing for a audience of one (himself) and nobody would engage in hysterical laughter when he flips out an attempt to wordlessly sing along with his stringed instrument. It’s a thing many musicians do, some better than others and some others better than otters. Maybe most musicians are better at making music than otters, but maybe it’s just because they seem to have a lack of instruments; could a nature lover hook them up with some flutes, guitars and some keyboards?
But this is not about otters.. this is about an album of demos and out takes by a musician named George Christian. A funny name, but could have been funnier if the artist was blessed with the name George Buddhist or George Scientologist.. not that George is any of these things & he might not even has to be a Christian – but you know… it’s something to talk about. We could also talk about ‘Terminal’ which is a next track following seemingly a similar concept than the first one. George is clearly armed with a microphone recording himself while improvising on his favourite instrument. It’s very calm and relaxed, creating some kind of atmosphere that makes the time stand still, but only if you really chose to go into the zone with it. I had (for personal reasons) not chosen to do so and my clock just kept ticking away time as normal.
Terminal’ offers the kind of music that you would enjoy in the backdrop as you try to recall what you have learned at the local yoga centre. Not suggesting that you had been to a local yoga centre or had actually learned anything there if you did go there – but if you didn’t you might need to go as most readers of this blog go to yoga and they are all so amazing skin-wise! It must be because of all the flexible movements , a thing that also reflects to the music by George Cristian over here as It’s nice how it all moves in ways, but still I feel very much that you have to be in he right mood for it. I definitely felt it (the music), but also had been too impatient to fully enjoy it as it ad it is so seemingly intended.
Abismo de Cravos is another one of those tracks on this collection … it is an album that seemingly follows itself with each track stepping around in a similar improvisational concept.. A handy thing if you dig one track as than there is a big change you would enjoy the others. It’s really nice, but personally I felt that it became more and more into some kind of backdrop juggling sound that oddly started to make me a tiny bit nervous. I had to inhale and exhale – do some meditational moves associated with what I believe the local yoga place would go for – just to feel as if I’ve cranked twenty bottles of pure caffeine.
Maybe it was simply because the track here has a more strumming kind of vibe than the others, but in any case I started to feel that the music was more made to slide into the back than being listened as intensive as I was doing. But I felt I had to put it loud, pretending it is my job. But listening it on that volume kept getting me slightly on my nerves, even though I was really doing my best not to get it to that point of mental annoyance… humming away like a monk trying to focus on a patient mindset… but I had no choice than skipping the music that was driving me over the edge of sanity.
Skipping the track made me tumble into one named ‘Não Espere’ which unfortunately made me even more nervous… it was simply not the right time or the right moment to hear this album from my point of view.. at least I believe that that was the case as I’m sure the artful way of the artist playing this music must be tolerable and not insane making as it was doing to me. Maybe it was… I can’t loom inside an artist and see what was intended or not. In any case it started to feel like an rambling jam that started to poke its bits as pointy forks in both my ears to make me almost want to pull my knife out and cut them both off. A bit drastic, of course but imagine how cool it would look! I could imagine the headlines; music reviewer without ears – looking good – doesn’t hear a thing!
Maybe a track named Lucy would be better? And yes it was.. because any track with the name Lucy in it sounds great. Here our musician seems to slipped away from getting under my skin for the most part (don’t get me wrong; there are still some moments that would make me itch) but mostly it’s a kind hearted track that nibbles away time. But than again it went into tracks like Não Espere and Melhor Não and even though I heard this after a long break, freshly on a brand new day; it was again quickly hopping on board of something that I really tried to connect with, but could not. I had all these weird thoughts of putting the release up in the farm fields as an alternative scarecrow while I actually really wanted it to be some kind of easy going music to fall asleep with. I guess it’s a case that you can’t always get what you want.
I tried though and did my best to find some way in without the music making me want to pluck my hairs out & put them in the holes of my ears to fade them kindly out… but sadly I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it isn’t a great idea to rip hairs out or cut ears off just because you really want to like something.. besides these have been demos and out takes and I guess they have been demos and out takes not entirely for nothing. Maybe they had been more there as the musician had an emotional bond with them or simply wanted to have some bonus material for his die hard fans that are of course always in need for something special. If that’s you, it might be your lucky day as it’s simply all yours! Even my portion of it! So yes,it wasn’t for me the honest ape, but maybe it is for you? In any case here is a link so you could check it out: