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Os Meus Shorts

(2008 - Rat Records - Belgium)

  This duo is half Belgium (Joachim Badenhorst) and half Spanish (Nico Boig) [note: they have become a trio now as you can see on You Tube link, and if you buy the download at Bandcamp, you get cheated out of 2 tracks that are on the physical CD -' Kiko' 01:10 +  'Le meme jour Le jour meme' 01:23]. The two (band name simply means 'my shorts' in Portuguese) make both beautiful music and far out on the edge music, with simple instrumentation of baritone guitar and bass clarinet ( there is a key mention of both artists also playing “objects” as well ). The 28 short songs (whole CD is 46:40) sometimes remind me of the 2nd brilliant album by French band ZNR. But other tunes are more like going to a safari on acid.
 The first cut is somewhat erratic and second song begins to paint the picture that you’ll be challenged (but smart) to listen to this all the way through. It’s avant-garde in the most clear definition.  The third cut gives you hope for music with melody (if that is what you desire). Fourth one is a wandering ditty, very laid back getting into the ZNR territory. Fifth song goes back into that desert on acid. Hey, it’s pretty fun listening to this recording. Back to a beautiful meditative piece on track 6. Titles like 'Teva', 'Kiko', 'Caixeta, Excursio', 'Forat', 'Little Cloud', 'Boku no tchiisana kumo', and 'It All Makes Sense', give you some idea of the variety and unsuspecting roaming the two musicians do. This could very well work as a soundtrack since it is all instrumental for the most part. There is some voice used at times more as effect and drama, but the real charm of this release is it’s refusal to stay put with anything.  On a song called ‘Johnny Guitar’ it’s hard to imagine how they came up with this music. It’s simply one of the most innovative recordings in my collection now. Little parts of it even reminded me of the more experimental moments of Eyeless In Gaza, and The Residents,

   Despite what many listeners might conclude, this is truly inventive for two musicians, with such limited instruments and objects. I say limited in the fact that they only use two main tools, not in any way because of their limitations of how the guitar and clarinet are utilized. I’d never have thought this much variety of style and sound could be produced. It’s totally amazing when you have finished your first spin of the CD. If you are the curious type, then it’s certainly worth one listen. If you like finding something new, like you have never owned before, that sounds nothing like anything else in your collection, then this would be a fine addition for you. Sure, I know it takes some patience and understanding with this type music. It’s not for the neo prog lover, nor the MOR fan, or anyone who must have clean logical structure in every song they listen to.  Nope! It’s for those nuts like me who love both the beautiful and the abstract. In my book, it’s a part of creativity, to put together 28 songs with 2 instruments, by two artists, for a fan base who you have no idea is. But we know who we are.

  Track 19 (‘Dibuix’) is probably closer to what Jimi Hendrix might be doing in the present day if he were still alive.  And in contrast, track 20 brings clarity and mellowness to the listeners ears. Again, more like ZNR’s ‘Traite De Mecanique Populaire’. I am going to give you a quote of what the artists say about their music. They say it best. “Os Meus Shorts are the short pants we wear on holidays. On summer or in warm places. They'll be the testimonies of big discoverings, fleeting love or a true one, new countries, mysterious places around the corner, nonsense relationships, long trips by car, boat or tramway, picnics, mushy movies or good ones, amazing fruit salads,etc...whatever you could put in an audible travel notebook.”  So now you have the whole picture. Well as much of a canvas as I can give you on paper. This is another adventurous recording that is both exquisite and very unusual.
Recommended for lovers of unique music.    
   ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 5 -8- 2009

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