Friday, August 18, 2006

be.mp3: rackham - olga und barnabe

Rackham is:
Toine Thys - saxophone
Laurent Blondiau - trumpet
Benjamin Clément - guitar
François Verrue - bass
Teun Verbruggen - drums

Toine Thys works in a lot of different contexts (the two-tenor Walrus quartet is a treat if you get to hear it in the right context) and is a big Paul Motian fan, but Rackham shows his contemporary jazz-rock side. If I understood correctly, Clément and Verrue are straight-up rock musicians, whereas Blondiau (leader of the excellent Maak's Spirit) and be.jazz friend Verbruggen operate in several of Belgium's most interesting jazz groups. In concert, Clément's distorted/noise solos are particularly crowd-pleasing.

From the website:

Here is just a list of truly inspiring artists who influenced Rackham's music in one way or another: Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Radiohead, Calexico, Jim Black, Chris Speed, Brasilian Girls, Brian Blade Fellowship, Madonna, Jeff Buckley, Nic Thys, Björk, Ryan Scott, the Bloomdaddies, Nirvana, (more to come..

"Olga Und Bernabe" is taken from a 3-song demo recorded in February that Toine gave me a while ago. The song's German title is misleading, as it starts with an Indian-sounding guitar riff and its theme consists of pop/rock inspired stuff that reminds me a bit of the melody of Human Feel's "Not About You" and a lot of André Canniere. What Europe/US divide?

Rackham - "Olga Und Bernabe"

"Spine," another of the demo tracks, is in a similar vein, but less succesful. "Juanita Kligopoulou" is better, and has an acoustic guitar and a Texan trumpet that give it a Calexico-y Far West ambiance. The debut album is expected for the end of the year.

I've also been accumulating some nice e-flyers in my inbox over the last few months. Here they are.