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5uu's - Abandonship CD (album) cover




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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bold, unruly, full of texture and sound effects, Dave Kerman's music is a strange and troubled statement of modern progressive rock. Kerman plays all the instruments but gets fine help from Udi Koorman on 'sounds' and singer Deborah Perry, both helping Dave's vision of living music to breathe. The album was recorded in Tel Aviv, giving the session an urgency that darkly reflects in the compositions. 'Avant garde', 'RIO', call it what you will, this stuff will put you off your corn flakes in the most delicious way.
Report this review (#93780)
Posted Sunday, October 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars My favourite 5UU'S album right here. This was recorded in Tel Aviv, Isreal at Udi's house.That's right Udi Koomran works his magic on here much like he did on the amazing AHVAK album and many others over the years. Interesting that with this album and the AHVAK record Udi is listed as part of the band even though he doesn't play an instrument on either one. Well if you knew how important this guy was to the sound on both recordings you would understand why. He's amazing ! His work can be heard throughout this album in the samples and sounds. Like the last album this is really a Dave Kerman solo album under the 5UU'S moniker. Deborah Perry (THINKING PLAGUE) is back on vocals along with some other guests including PRESENT's own Roger Trigaux who plays the part of a dictator on the third track. He seems to be a natural (haha).

"Yordei Hasira #2" opens with strange sounds and throughout really.Voices come and go. "Couple #3" has Deborah on vocals with all kinds of intricate sounds coming and going. Angular guitar before 2 minutes then it settles with spoken vocals. Drums and guitar end it. Nice. "Thoroughly Modern Attila" is probably my all time favourite 5UU'S track. It's very much in the UNIVERS ZERO / PRESENT realm. An ominous beat with other sounds to start. It's dark. Some crazy outbursts of sound follow. This is heavy and dark. Amazing ! Some insane spoken spoken words from Roger before 4 minutes. A calm follows and it sounds very cool. It's building 6 1/2 minutes in, this really reminds me of PRESENT and UNIVERS ZERO. Silence after 7 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in a minute later. "Penguins On Dizengoff" opens with a beat followed by piano. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. It turns dark and eerie after 2 minutes. It picks up before 5 minutes but not for long.

"Suits" has these deep bass sounds and female vocals. It turns dark after 1 1/2 minutes. Bob Drake's version of "Ringing In The New Year" can be heard on "Crisis In Clay".This one opens with someone talking with sounds playing in the background. "Noah's Flame" sounds great when it kicks in after a minute. Female vocals too. A change 4 minutes in. Spoken vocals 5 1/2 minutes in. A heavy beat and angular guitar after 6 minutes.The tempo picks up 7 1/2 minutes in as Kerman pounds away until it ends. "Hill Of Spring" has this light music with spoken female vocals. Both the music and Deborah's vocals turn demented. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in after the lunacy ends. "Doubt Be Met" is solemn with female vocals. "Belly- Up" kicks in before a minute. Check out Kerman on the kit. A calm before 2 minutes. It's dark as spoken words arrive. I like the calm after 7 minutes to the end.Deborah ends it with the words "Okay cut" and the music and album stops. I'm still waiting for Deborah to say "Action" so we can get a new 5UU'S album.

Report this review (#299957)
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Last to time 5UU's studio album, in fact it's more Dave Kerman solo album. He plays all other instruments,beside of usual to him drums.The only other artist participated on the recording is Thinking Plague singer Deborah Perry.

Album was recorded in Tel Aviv,Israel, and is unusually complex multi layered mix of drums,keys,loops and vocals. Very often one-man albums are very flat, even if contain interesting musical material. This album happily isn't! Thunder-like brutal drumming, many structure and rhythm changes, excellently mixed overlaps - this album sounds absolutely as it was recorded by real band.

Music is strongly influenced by RIO and avant both, and successfully balances on the border between too "out" and "still attractive". Not easy listening, but really interesting one. More release for fans of such kind of music though.

My rating is 4 - one between few successful one-man albums released ever!

Report this review (#323214)
Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've been aware of Dave Kerman for some time, initially through his time as the drummer with Present and his involvement in Aranis' 2010 release, Roqueforte. I had been curious about this band for a while, and upon finding out that it was Dave Kerman who was responsible for almost everything on this album, my curiosity lead me to finally acquiring it.

Deborah Perry (from Thinking Plague, who I have not yet had the pleasure of exploring) does the vocals on this album, and the sound is by Udi Koomran. Other than a few guests, Dave does everything else himself here. Which is amazing because there is not a dud track on this album - everything is great!

The sound is generally agressive. The weirdness one expects from a lot of avant-prog, in terms of note selection and rhtyhms, are here. But you can tell that these tracks are composed by a drummer, for there are great rhythmic bases to all of them that really give the layers of music on top a lot of freedom and expression. Deborah's vocals are odd yet beautiful, and really fit well with the music.

There are definitely a few brilliant tracks on this album that really make it stand out. I should clarify - every track on this album is great, but there are a few that go beyond that, that stand to me as testaments to the validity of this genre of music as a rock form.

There is the simple "Doubt Be Met", which does not include as much of the density of some of the other tracks, instead relying on organ and Deborah's vocals to create a great but short piece. "Noah's Flame" must be mentioned, and is in my eyes the stand out track, featuring the best moments both instrumental and vocally, as well as being oddly catchy and aggressive. Couple #3 is a Solo is just odd, but in a very cool way, and perfectly composed.

If you are able to get your hands on this album, do so - you will not regret it.

Report this review (#458587)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Florentine is hell-bent

6th album to 5uu's and this time 5uu's is mainly Dave Kerman all by himself, with almost no other players. This album recorded here in Tel Aviv, Israel, when Dave Kerman, the highly acclaimed avant-rock drummer-composer leaved in Israel for a couple of years. 'Tel Aviv' songs are 'Penguins on Dizengoff' and 'Hill of spring' (translation from 'Tel Aviv'). 'Penguins on Dizengoff' deal with the ridiculous Penguins statues that placed all around Dizengoff Street back in 2000. Indeed, the contradiction between the two could not be greater. North Pole Penguins could not survive in a hot, humidity summer day in Tel Aviv .Dave's humor and irony are here, in the nice tune of this not-long instrumental piece, featuring effects of trickling water in the middle section.

'Hill of spring' is a song that evolves from quite to soaring mood, with moving lyrics about a man who 'lost' in Tel Aviv. It reminds me some Israeli songs about Tel Aviv that written by some song writers and poetess. In fact, for me, Dave Kerman is a true lyricist and a song- writer, let alone an innovative drummer and pushing-the-boundaries avant-gardist. The line 'Florentine is hell-bent' from that song perhaps deals with Florentine street, that became a nice coffee-shops and galleries street, yet the surrounding environment has still been very industrial, with a lot of carpenter houses and welding shops.

As mentioned above, Dave is the almost-only instrumentalist in this album. The album sound is ruled by his very energetic drums, rhythms and percussion, (Also played by Aviv Barak, on 'Thoroughly modern Attila'). Most of the complicated and entangled tunes are done by Keyboards, with many different sounds and effects. Bass and electric guitars could be heard from time to time, but not on a regular basis as in a complete rock band. Various effects are all throughout, mainly street noises. Tel Aviv streets come alive in this album with street vendors voices, honking and car sirens. The Effects, samples, recordings, sound and production made by Udi Koomran, who did a great job, in a small, ordinary department in Tel Aviv. Well it seems to be that there is no need in picturesque farms in south of France in order to create valuable products (Heh Heh). In fact this album is a true cooperation between Dave and Udi right from the start, and one can feel it while listening.

Deborah Perry helped with her wonderful vocals, from Oregon, United States. Her vocals are always a pleasure for me, but for this time the tunes range seems to be very low for a female voice, even on the lower side, what make a less contribution for clarity and crystallite at some part of the already-complicated tunes. Indeed the vocals sound very 'bottomed' some times. Nevertheless, it's still a pleasure to listen to Deborah's singing, albeit this restriction.

Some more 'track information': from the longer tracks, my favorite is the closer 'Belly-Up': A very atmospheric track, without losing the edge. It features slow-down and fasten spoken vocals. It ends with acoustic guitars and interesting sounds and harmonies. And in Dave's usual manner, a little sting at the end. Another favorite of mine is the opener (track 2), 'Couple number 3 is a solo'. This song is about a lonely woman who dancing her life out, with a lot of rhythms, dance samples like Tango, trumpets blast, a great tap-dancing that performed live on the studio/department by Zahi Patish, And a pinch of Hebrew ('Mispar shalosh' means 'number 3').

In short, a highly recommended album that proves that a phenomenon like Dave can do it all by himself, in a small, inconvenient and restless country, certainly not the first place you would think of as a candidate for recording an edgy avant rock album. But don't get me wrong, I'm not against Dave doing some real band recordings, and in fact I'm willing for another album, it's been 13 years already.

By this review, I some kind of 'abandon' myself. I've decided on a 'relative retirement' from writing reviews, out of many reasons. I intend to finish my James Grigsby duties (U totem, Motor totemist guild), and maybe write some more very few reviews, and a bit of ratings. But it will take a long time, and there won't be much more than that. Goodbye than.

* More information about this album, from Dave himself, and nice pictures from Udi, at Udi's blog

Report this review (#933396)
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars With "Abandonship," Dave KERMAN continues the 5 UU's concept as an almost solo adventure. Again this time, Dave writes all the cuts for the album and plays most of the instruments, being accompanied only by Deborah PERRY (singer of THINKING PLAGUE), Aviv BARAK (hand percussions) and Udi KOOMRAN (sound engineer). The music (?) On this album is as challenging as on "Regarding Purgatories," and it maintains the hallmark of 5 UU's: compositions firmly grounded in complex rhythmic structures, which are KERMAN's fascination. The melodies are even more dissonant and experimental than on previous albums; somehow they could be used as a reference to define today's avant-garde sound. Some compositions, such as 'Couple # 3 Is a Solo', 'Noah's Flame,' and 'Belly-Up' are fascinating examples of contemporary progressive. Those who already know the work of 5 UU's and listen to this album for the first time, maybe they will feel a little disappointed: KERMAN's music is becoming more abstract, less melodic and more inaccessible with each new album, but it indeed remains as one of the most original proposals within the current 'post-progressive'. - Martín HERNÁNDEZ
Report this review (#2345636)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2020 | Review Permalink

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