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song_of_copper View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Guapo Appurrreciation Thread
    Posted: July 31 2008 at 12:33
Well, there doesn't seem to be an appreciation thread for Guapo yet, so I thought I'd take the plunge and make one. Big%20smile

I only know their most recent 'trilogy' albums, and these are recent acquisitions for me.  After an uncertain start, I'm beginning to be really impressed by this band.

If you like the idea of dark and creepy music, influenced by classic RIO/avant and Zeuhl, played by a small coterie of inscrutable intellectual types (or are they flamboyant exhibitionists?  I think they might be both!)... well, this music is for you! Big%20smile

I found 'Five Suns' a difficult listen - not because of the impenetrable, swirling, pea-soupish, dark air of the music, but because there is a lot of Magma in there.  For me, it's a bit 'spot the almost-verbatim quote', which is distracting. Tongue  But now I want to reassess it, having heard the following two albums...

'Black Oni', by contrast, completely bowled me over.  It seems to wear its influences far less blatantly, feels more coherent to me, and instead of beating you over the head with its sulky sombreness, is more subtly creepy than 'Five Suns'.  It feels like an instant favourite for me! Thumbs%20Up

'Elixirs' feels like the soundtrack to the weirdest, most chilling movie ever.  Those strings at the start are like a dirty jagged fingernail being dragged casually along your spine... *shiver*  (Also... they really like their gong strikes, don't they?! LOL)

Right... that's more than enough on the matter from me.  Any thoughts?  Love them or loathe them?  How about the pre-'Five Suns' stuff?  Anyone seen them live?  (And, uh, if so, did you emerge from the experience completely sane and in your right mind?!)  Off you go - start appreciatin'! Big%20smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2008 at 13:28
Elixirs was one of my most anticipated albums of the year; that said I still don't have it (finances).  I really like Guapo.  Five Suns and Black Oni are very good.  The one that bowled me over, as well, is Black Oni -- superb.  And along with Koenjihyakkei's Angherr Shisspa was my favourite of the 2005 releases (discovered some other really great ones from the year subsequently too).

I don't have the debut.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2008 at 20:52
I intend to get Black Oni when my emusic account refreshes in a few days.

That's all I got - but this thread looked lonely.  Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2008 at 21:52
Originally posted by NaturalScience

I intend to get Black Oni when my emusic account refreshes in a few days.

That's all I got - but this thread looked lonely.  Wink


Most of the Black Oni EP is included with Elixirs. If you don't already have Elixirs, definitely get that first.

Five Suns is amazing and should be checked out by all Zeuhl fans, but i think that Elixirs might be a bit boring to some, when compared to the vigorous playing found on Five Suns.


Edited by Dominic - July 31 2008 at 21:54
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 02:32
I could have sworn i posted in this thread.... Oh well...

I've heard Guapo being tossed around for ages, but never really ventured to check them out. But recently i picked up Elixirs and i'm glad i did. Very good album! Possibly my favourite of the year thus far. I will certainly be grabbing some more of their stuff at some point.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 02:39
fell asleep to Elixirs so I've subconsciously absorbed it
now I need to listen to it while awake


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 04:33
Originally posted by Dominic

Most of the Black Oni EP is included with Elixirs. If you don't already have Elixirs, definitely get that first.

Five Suns is amazing and should be checked out by all Zeuhl fans, but i think that Elixirs might be a bit boring to some, when compared to the vigorous playing found on Five Suns.

That'd be the 'Twisted Stems' EP! Big%20smile  'Black Oni' is a long player.

Edited to add: is the EP version of 'Twisted Stems' different from the album version on 'Elixirs'?  I've read the PA entry and reviews for the EP and there is no mention of the vocals (which appear on the album version).  I have this weird sensation of having heard 'The Heliotrope' (or something like it) before, but I can't place it.  And I think it's the vocals that make me feel that way...

'Elixirs' is indeed very, very different from 'Five Suns'.  Vigorous is a good word for 'Five Suns' - I'd call it almost punishingly vigorous. LOL  But in a good way...

'Elixirs' has a variety of 'guest instruments' on it, and there are even vocals.  It is certainly quite a departure from the previous two albums, and I will say again that it needs a horrible movie to go with it. Wink  Interestingly, the related band Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses (the name is a bit silly, if you ask me...), is apparently influenced in part by Goblin (the Italian soundtrack people), so there may be a bit of cross-pollination going on there.  MatCoHH (haha, even the initials look like a dangerous chemical!) are on my list to try at some point, so we'll see... Tongue


Edited by song_of_copper - August 01 2008 at 05:02
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 04:37
Originally posted by NaturalScience

I intend to get Black Oni when my emusic account refreshes in a few days.

That's all I got - but this thread looked lonely.  Wink

Hehe, thanks for the giving the poor thing a shot in the arm! LOL

Hope you enjoy it.  They seem to have veered a little more to the side of Present/UZ on 'Black Oni', and I think it flows better than 'Five Suns'.  I like Part III the best. Big%20smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 04:55
Originally posted by Logan

Elixirs was one of my most anticipated albums of the year; that said I still don't have it (finances).  I really like Guapo.  Five Suns and Black Oni are very good.  The one that bowled me over, as well, is Black Oni -- superb.  And along with Koenjihyakkei's Angherr Shisspa was my favourite of the 2005 releases (discovered some other really great ones from the year subsequently too).

I don't have the debut.

'Elixirs' has an apocalyptic feel.  'Post-Kobaïan', perhaps! LOL

(Your signature: the answer is 'yes', but only in relation to 'Attahk'. Tongue)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 05:28
One of my favourite bands nowadays.
I'm also most familiar with the trilogy. I listened a bit to Great Sage, Equal of Heaven, but I can't say I liked it that much.
Of the trilogy, I like each of them just as much. All three are exploring different territories, and very successfully so.
Favourite tracks are:
Black Oni III and V
Arthur, Elsie and Frances from Elixirs

I've ordered the Mothlite (project of Daniel O'Sullivan, but David Smith and Sara Hurich among many others are also participating) debut The Flax of Reverie, hopefully recieving it soon. From what I've heard on the website/myspace, it sounds very promising! Especially the track Riverside.

I'm also a fan of Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, which sometimes reminds me of Guapo (not that strange, since all members of Guapo are present) with the folkish feel, that they ventured a bit into on Elixirs. The Miasma songs are a bit more focused and resolute, though, like The Planks (which by the by is a great tune!)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 05:31
Originally posted by song_of_copper

Originally posted by Dominic

Most of the Black Oni EP is included with Elixirs. If you don't already have Elixirs, definitely get that first.

Five Suns is amazing and should be checked out by all Zeuhl fans, but i think that Elixirs might be a bit boring to some, when compared to the vigorous playing found on Five Suns.

That'd be the 'Twisted Stems' EP! Big%20smile  'Black Oni' is a long player.

Edited to add: is the EP version of 'Twisted Stems' different from the album version on 'Elixirs'?  I've read the PA entry and reviews for the EP and there is no mention of the vocals (which appear on the album version).  I have this weird sensation of having heard 'The Heliotrope' (or something like it) before, but I can't place it.  And I think it's the vocals that make me feel that way...

'Elixirs' is indeed very, very different from 'Five Suns'.  Vigorous is a good word for 'Five Suns' - I'd call it almost punishingly vigorous. LOL  But in a good way...

'Elixirs' has a variety of 'guest instruments' on it, and there are even vocals.  It is certainly quite a departure from the previous two albums, and I will say again that it needs a horrible movie to go with it. Wink  Interestingly, the related band Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses (the name is a bit silly, if you ask me...), is apparently influenced in part by Goblin (the Italian soundtrack people), so there may be a bit of cross-pollination going on there.  MatCoHH (haha, even the initials look like a dangerous chemical!) are on my list to try at some point, so we'll see... Tongue
 
The Twisted Stems EP is purely instrumental, and I think that there may have been some other tweaking for the album as well.
 
'Elixirs' is less immediate than 5 Suns or Black Oni but is probably their strongest album yet, very strong compositions and a quantum leap on from Black Oni. The last couple of tracks hark back to earlier incarntions though; The Planks could have come from Great Sage, Equal of Heaven (recently reissued) and King Lindorm has the kind of pounding intensity that makes 5 Suns and Black Oni so effective on stage.
 
If you dig around in the interviews section you'll find an interview I did with Guapo shortly after Black Oni was released. 
'Like so many of you
I've got my doubts about how much to contribute
to the already rich among us...'

Robert Wyatt, Gloria Gloom


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 05:44
Originally posted by song_of_copper

Originally posted by Dominic

Most of the Black Oni EP is included with Elixirs. If you don't already have Elixirs, definitely get that first.

Five Suns is amazing and should be checked out by all Zeuhl fans, but i think that Elixirs might be a bit boring to some, when compared to the vigorous playing found on Five Suns.

That'd be the 'Twisted Stems' EP! Big%20smile  'Black Oni' is a long player.

Edited to add: is the EP version of 'Twisted Stems' different from the album version on 'Elixirs'?  I've read the PA entry and reviews for the EP and there is no mention of the vocals (which appear on the album version).  I have this weird sensation of having heard 'The Heliotrope' (or something like it) before, but I can't place it.  And I think it's the vocals that make me feel that way...



Yes. They are instrumental, different and better, I think. Well, The Selenetrope with Jarboe is great, but The Heliotrope is much better as a dark, loungy Baldamenti-ish  instrumental. I really love the EP (and Elixirs).

My favorite is actually Five Suns. One of the handful of albums of the 00's I consider a real masterpiece. Never thought it was particulary similar to Magma, although its obviously Zeuhl-inspired.  My problem with the Guapo trilogy, if any, is that (although brilliant) Black Oni is too similar to its predessesor.

The quite new Miasma EP Perils, is fantastic! A lot more interesting than their OK debut. Warmly reccomended.

The older Guapo albums is really by a different band.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 06:06
Originally posted by Rocktopus


The quite new Miasma EP Perils, is fantastic! A lot more interesting than their OK debut. Warmly reccomended.


Manfauna is the EP, Perils is the album, I think. Anyway, I agree, it's great!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 06:16
Originally posted by Kim?


Manfauna is the EP, Perils is the album, I think. Anyway, I agree, it's great!




Ops! Yes, Manufana is the awsome one. Thanks.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 09:50
Five Suns and Black Oni have been getting a fair bit of play here recently, brilliant work and I love it, especially Black Oni.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 16:08
Originally posted by Kim?


Favourite tracks are:
Black Oni III and V
Arthur, Elsie and Frances from Elixirs

Agreed, those are definite stand outs!  I'd pick 'Jeweled Turtle' from 'Elixirs' as well, though.

Originally posted by Kim?

I've ordered the Mothlite (project of Daniel O'Sullivan, but David Smith and Sara Hurich among many others are also participating) debut The Flax of Reverie, hopefully recieving it soon. From what I've heard on the website/myspace, it sounds very promising! Especially the track Riverside.

I'm also a fan of Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, which sometimes reminds me of Guapo (not that strange, since all members of Guapo are present) with the folkish feel, that they ventured a bit into on Elixirs. The Miasma songs are a bit more focused and resolute, though, like The Planks (which by the by is a great tune!)

These people are unstoppably prolific!  How many projects is it now...?

I'm definitely going to check out Miasma - the description sounds intriguing and the samples I've heard are good.  Maybe I'll get around to some of those other bands too... Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 16:15
Originally posted by Rocktopus

Yes. They are instrumental, different and better, I think. Well, The Selenetrope with Jarboe is great, but The Heliotrope is much better as a dark, loungy Baldamenti-ish  instrumental. I really love the EP (and Elixirs).

Cool, maybe I should pick this up...

My favorite is actually Five Suns. One of the handful of albums of the 00's I consider a real masterpiece. Never thought it was particulary similar to Magma, although its obviously Zeuhl-inspired.  My problem with the Guapo trilogy, if any, is that (although brilliant) Black Oni is too similar to its predessesor.

'Five Suns' has a LOT that sounds very like the climax to 'Köhntarkösz', and also a fair amount that reminds me of parts of 'Theusz Hamtaahk'.  I just played 'Five Suns' again this evening, and alongside the Magma borrowings, it's a bit repetitive for my liking.  'Black Oni' is the same style, but it seems better structured and more original to me.

The quite new Miasma EP Perils, is fantastic! A lot more interesting than their OK debut. Warmly reccomended.

The Miasma stuff is now on my shopping list! Big%20smile

The older Guapo albums is really by a different band.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 16:18
^I think Black Oni benefits from being shorter, its allowed the band to be more concise with the arrangments and the result is it hits home a bit more.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 16:19
IMHO Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses > Guapo.

Not a huge Guapo fan.  Five Suns would be pretty good if it weren't for the two closing tracks.  Black Oni never hit me.  Elixirs I found mildly interesting at best.

I will recommend the cd The Ruined Map by Rashomon ("pen" name of an ex-Guapo member/founder).


Edited by Pnoom! - August 01 2008 at 16:20
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2008 at 16:30
Originally posted by Syzygy

The Twisted Stems EP is purely instrumental, and I think that there may have been some other tweaking for the album as well.
 
'Elixirs' is less immediate than 5 Suns or Black Oni but is probably their strongest album yet, very strong compositions and a quantum leap on from Black Oni. The last couple of tracks hark back to earlier incarntions though; The Planks could have come from Great Sage, Equal of Heaven (recently reissued) and King Lindorm has the kind of pounding intensity that makes 5 Suns and Black Oni so effective on stage.
 
If you dig around in the interviews section you'll find an interview I did with Guapo shortly after Black Oni was released. 

I enjoyed reading the interview, thanks for alerting me to it!  (It's here, if anyone else would like to read it!)  They seem pretty down to earth in the interview, in contrast to some of their PR spiel!

This really is fascinating stuff.  (Listening again this evening...)  I wonder what they'll do next...?
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