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I Am Above On The Left


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4 stars This album is available for FREE LEGAL DOWNLOAD on LastFM page of the band. Check it, it won’t take much from you to do this.

Я СЛЕВА ВВЕРХУ (title name in Russian) is one of those bands that you don’t know what to expect from. Noise-core, Math-metal and Post-rock mixed, Avant-like approach, Stoner-like sound; some obvious KC-like tricks; a sample from Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”; mostly short but mind-blowing tracks, ranging from soft background soundscapes to unleashed pure cacophony, jumping from one signature to another – more than wanted thing for any Experimental / Post-Rock / Krautrock / Avant fan! Don’t ask what I’m doing here with my review then – second part of “Lt. Columbo’s Wife” has a pretty catchy melodic groove, “Tu es Tue” is beautifully heavy, and … wait, do I really need to explain myself? I simple love it, there’s a beauty in this beast, and apart from most modern half-Indie self-proclaimed "genius" bands these guys do know what they’re playing and how it must be played! Anyone who’s also interested doesn’t need to give his last buck away to hear IAMABOVEONTHELEFT – I repeat, visit their LastFM page and get yourself their debut for free. Recommended!

Report this review (#146265)
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The band's eponymous debut is a live-in-the-studio affair, recorded in a single six-hour session in August 2005 with some environmental samples added subsequently. In a peculiar manner the quartet creates what could be better described as composite musical sketches of surrounding reality; or to be more correct they express personal attitudes toward reality. And not surprisingly, these attitudes are somewhat belligerent and defiant. Though there are so much touching naivete and appealing trustfulness, not to mention a good portion of irony, in their jump-to-noise-core intense instrumental pieces. The incredible receptivity, openness, and sensitivity to details are all around here. Fresh blood in the avant-garde and experimental rock-scene! P.S. Glass-printed (Ltd x500) copy of this CD (packaged in a simple cardboard sleeve) is one of the most wanted collector's item now.
Report this review (#146726)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Strap yourself into the ejection seat for this tripped out sonic charge into obtuse oblivion. Russian freak prog band, I Am Above On The Left`s debut from 2005 creates musically, confusion, mayhem, darkness and paranoia with their kaotic, complex and abstract barrages of musical ideas, exchanging hardcore attacks with almost relaxing melodic progressions to almost still minimilism. They make the most out of volume and noisy guitar effects ( lots of knob tweaking and feedback for those into knob tweaking and feedback ! ) as well as smashing, crashing drums/cymbals to achieve their discordant sound. But one must be forewarned that this is not music for the faint-hearted or someone looking for a fast, cheap musical thrill. Put your thinking caps on for this one and descend into a world of suggestion and deepness.

" Lt Columbo`s Wife " is the definitive track on the disc. They`re all over the map with abrupt changes and impressions which seek to convey different ideas of something which can only be imagined just as Columbo`s spouse is in the TV series. The opening sequence is almost annoying but it goes through it`s paces and morphs into an ( believe it or not ) almost pleasurable melodic passage. While all of the titles are suggestive much is left up to the listener and it is pretty much impossible to read specific meanings into the musical statements. For example, Le Coucher Poupre, Le Vent, Le Bruit, Les Oiseax et Les Branches ( translated from the French : The Crimson Sleep, The Wind, The Noise, The Birds and The Branches) can be taken literally as a dream sequence or because of the instrumental nature of the music ( no vocals on this one, save for some ominous recorded speaches which seem to be in German ) the listener can create his/her own universe around this wonderfully imaginative music. Every piece is pretty much what- the- freak-are -they going- to- do-next-here, with suprises and explosions around every corner. While on first listen the whole thing might remind one of King Crimson-like jams found on ThRaKaTaK but, suprisingly, the tracks are reproduced quite remarkably in live performances. Sort of reminds me of what Guru Guru did on their first album UFO, heavy guitar based guitar freakouts which have been considered by many to be LSD induced jams until one heard the tracks reproduced live. It will become evident that this album, although at times having a freeform feel to it, is obviously carefully thought out serious avant garde rock.

The modern answer to bands like Neu! Popol Vuh, Cluster early Amon Duul and Brainticket, I am Above On The Left`s dynamic experimental music with it`s heavy to soft electric treatments is highly recommended for the more adventurous listener who is not looking for immediate answers. It is one of those albums which allows the listener to constantly explore with something new turning up on every successive listen. Put the cat out and crank this mind boggling musical exploration to eleven.

Report this review (#148061)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink

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