Sunday, October 30, 2005

AKA Moon - 29/10/2005, Brussels

I hadn't seen AKA Moon in a few years. The small, familiar Sounds stage is perhaps the best place in town to catch them. The music seemed to go back through its own history: starting with music that seemed more recent, ending with the usual, joyful medley of old hits, via Michel Hatzigeorgiou's classic real-time self-sampling bass solo. The contrast showed how Fabrizio Cassol had matured as a composer: from sequences of percussive, hooky riffs to much longer structures. It's interesting to hear fairly advanced composition arrived at through the prism of jazz/funk/rock, improvisation, complex rhythmic/metric forms and a band sound, rather than through a more abstract harmonic view. And you can hear all that while, quite simply, rocking out to one of the greatest reasons to be proud to be Belgian (um, I'm not Belgian).

As luck would have it, we sat at the same table as the guy who founded the Kaai (as well as an actress/musician with beautiful brown eyes), the now-mythical venue which closed in 1995 after having seen the birth of AKA Moon and brought together a whole generation of musicians. Bo Van Der Werf had told me about playing there, blowing a solo, then stepping off stage to pour someone a beer. Etienne recounted a particular highlight: Lenny Kravitz taking a taxi from Amsterdam to Brussels to arrive at the Kaai after 1AM and proceed to jam 'til 7.

The Django d'Or ceremony was held last night: congratulations, Pascal! (even though I was sure Jef would win).